• Gender Equality With CONCACAF Women

    Last week CAC was back with Concacaf W supporting their Next Play programs across the region. Building off of our work in Barbados at the end of 2019, CAC joined Concacaf W in Los Angeles in conjunction with the final match of the Women’s Olympic Qualifiers addressing UNSDG5: Gender Equality.

    In LA we trained 34 young female coaches and then supported these coaches to deliver an exciting event for over 160 girls ages 6-12 from the Los Angeles area. These coaches came from all over Southern California and for most of them it was their first experience in coaching – especially in coaching Purposeful Play with a focus on social impact. We were also energized by the participation of several former and current professional women’s football players from all over the Concacaf region – including Costa Rica, México, USA and Canada. And it was great to see an old CAC friend and World Cup Champion with US Women’s National Team in Lorrie Fair.

    We are looking forward to using football, CAC Purposeful Play and the Concacaf W Next Play methodology to create more safe, fun spaces for girls in other Concacaf countries in the near future including the Dominican Republic and México. Contact CAC to find out how you can get involved in this exciting inspirational partnership.

  • Fun: is it fun-damental to ‘Education Outside the Classroom’?

    Guest Blog- Sarah Huxley, PhD research student with the Open University.

    ‘Fun’ is a tricky, illusive and bouncy concept. Is it a sensation? Is it something you can create, or something that creates you? What places enable ‘having fun’? Is writing about fun, fun? Welcome to my world.

    I am a PhD research student with the interdisciplinary research centre of RUMPUS at the Open University, and these are the types of thoughts that fill my head. We have recently started a collaboration with Coaches Across Continents (CAC) to explore, experience and understand what ‘fun’ means and does (its roles) in the context of CAC’s educational initiatives. I’ll be researching fun as a partially embedded researcher: this means participating in their staff skype meetings, running around ‘on field’ (probably out of breath) during their educational sessions; in order to experience if and how opportunities for fun arise. The research endeavour will by its very nature be a process of co-creation.

    In particular, I’ll be looking and reflecting upon fun in the context of CAC’s active ‘Self Directed Learning’ approach – an approach embedded in ‘education outside the classroom’ and ‘purposeful play’. ‘Self-Directed learning’ was described to me by one staff member as “honouring that the individual – who is developing – who is learning in this world, is the expert of their experience.” According to interviews and organisational documents, Self-Directed Learning is a question-based methodology that offers an alternative to didactic classroom-based practices of learning. But more than this, it also confronts what ‘knowledge’ and ‘development’ (personal or social) intrinsically can be. CAC continually ask participants/players to think of these concepts in terms of diversity; challenging the assumptions and biases they bring to their communities and vice versa; and that we are all learners in motion, constantly being re shaped by the world around us, as well as if we choose, doing the reshaping.

    Play and fun in CAC’s world are often used interchangeably and integral to its educational enterprise. At this stage in the research process, all I can say is that CAC’s view of ‘Purposeful Play’ is provocative and builds on values of choice. For example, one staff member in seeking to explain what Purposeful Play means, used the analogy of a Scandinavian playground he had heard of, whereby all the objects can be freely moved by players. In doing so, the “freedom of movement in that type of playground [provides] a world that pushes back at your learning, and you are not being confined by this pre-determined idea of this is how the slide is going to be…you get to play around. I don’t have to do any of the things that someone else has already done. From that the idea that play becomes more purpose driven: the play is more expressive of you as an individual, whereas it may be in a more traditional playground that you are not expressing yourself. You are just going up the slide, going across the monkey bars and repeat. Play with that bit of purpose is what points in a more positive direction.” This analogy suggests that CAC’s ‘on-field’ sessions are in a way a playground for all ages. There is a lot more teasing out to be done of the relationship and attributes that are ascribed to play and fun, but for now, there is plenty to slip and slide through.

    For CAC, fun and play are a fundamental aspect of a progressive learning experience. This research will examine this claim. Firstly, by exploring the meanings of fun for different coaches (educators, mentors, youth leaders) in different cultures and contexts, and then secondly by turning to look at purposes (what does fun do/enable?) and why.

    By the way, did I mention I have never played football?

    If you are interested to learn more about the research as it progresses, or indeed have some reflections or provocations of your own, please do reach out: or @AidHoover.

  • CAC & Catalyst Foundation

    January 14th 2020. CAC is delighted to announce a new partnership in 2020 with The Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education. With the support of The Catalyst Foundation, CAC will deliver the first-ever Accredited Coach Hub in Palestine to accredit local leaders in the use of Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to impact UNSDG 4: Quality Education.

    CAC will work with Palestinian leaders year-round, sharing our 28 strategic resources and supporting their work to improve school attendance and retention rates. Over the next two months CAC will be tapping into our networks in Palestine to select the 20 leaders who will participate in this program and become candidates for CAC Coach Accreditation in Purposeful Play. We are excited to launch into the new year with new partners like The Catalyst Foundation and to build on our impact with the incredible people we work and play with in Palestine. For more information please contact charlie@coachesacrosscontinents.org.

  • CAC Launches Coach Accreditation Program

    January 14th 2020. Coaches Across Continents is proud to announce the first-ever global Accredited Coaches initiative. Accredited Coaches are the only coaches in the world equipped with Education Outside the Classroom training to impact the UNSDGs and Safe-Guarding Child Rights through Purposeful Play curriculum and methodology.

    After 10 years working and learning how to best deliver sport and education around the world, Coaches Across Continents is now offering the next step in facilitator training by providing standards and processes to become an official, Accredited Coach.

    Accredited Coaches have the skills and resources to design, develop and implement locally-driven and sustainable Education Outside the Classroom programs for youth of all ages and to train other leaders to do the same. They are able to develop their players athletically, with an emphasis of success put on their intentional actions towards addressing specific UNSDG’s.

    Becoming an Accredited Coach will improve that leader’s ability to create sustainable change based on the UNSDGs, to find and secure funding and award opportunities, to enhance their brand reputation, and to deliver expert consultancy in Purposeful Play.

    For the full Coach Accreditation press release please click here.

  • #BuiltToPlay With ESPN in Puerto Rico

    CAC is delighted to be partnering with ESPN, Disney, think Beyond, and love.futbol on the #BuiltToPlay initiative in Puerto Rico in 2020. Working with local organizations in San Juan; the YMCA and the US Tennis Association; we will be designing Purposeful Play curriculum, training local coaches and supporting local programming for the space throughout the next 12 months. The ribbon-cutting event opening the new multi-sports spaces will be in early 2020. We will be in attendance as we build the capacity of local leadership to address selected UN Sustainable Development Goals through sport.

    The ESPN/Disney #BuiltToPlay initiative builds safe spaces to play sports in underserved communities all over the world and then supports local organizations to maintain and deliver educational programming on the space. Among the many locations which have benefited from this initiative are Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai. This year we have been working on this initiative with the PCYC Mount Druitt in Sydney, Australia. We are excited about the potential for the work in Puerto Rico.

  • World AIDS Day 2019

    2019 marks the 11th year that Coaches Across Continents has worked towards honoring World AIDS Day. On December 1st, CAC partners around the globe made use of our unique AIDS Awareness Day curriculum packet to share knowledge and dive into some of the overwhelming nuance associated with this disease.

    HIV remains one of the world’s most serious public health problems with ~38 million people currently infected. Despite dramatic steps forward with prevention and treatment technologies, a disproportionate number of people and communities in low and middle income countries continue to struggle with this disease and its ramifications.

    More than 5,700 individuals and organizations in 114 countries were provided our World AIDS Day resource packet. With this packet, communities are encouraged to question the various stigmas, myths, facts and research behind the latest in HIV awareness.