• The Beyond Sport Awards: #WhatsYourLegacy?

    September 10, 2018. Coaches Across Continents is looking forward to the Beyond Sport Awards in NYC on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  For the second consecutive year, CAC is shortlisted for the Global Impact of the Year Award, this year with our #WhatsYourLegacy? campaign. Overall there were 355 separate applications from over 100 countries on 6 continents for 10 categories of awards.

    Over 25% of the finalists at this year’s Beyond Sport Awards are CAC partners!

    Coaches Across Continents#WhatsYourLegacy? impacts over 16 million children in 56 countries on 6 continents through our three primary initiatives: 1. Corporation and Foundation Legacy Program; 2. Government and Community Legacy Program; and 3. Curriculum Legacy Program.  All of these initiatives look to create Legacies of Social Change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    It is symbolic that in our tenth year, in the month that we celebrate our ten-year anniversary with #CAC10, we are being recognized for our impact on the sport for social impact field.  Just last week, Founder Nick Gates wrote about his thoughts from working in a small town in Kigoma, Tanzania in 2008 to what is being accomplished daily through our year-round partnerships and 28 strategic resources.  Coaches Across Continents was recognized 9 years ago by Beyond Sport with the Best New Project which helped to launch CAC on our road to success. This followed with Corporate of the Year with Chevrolet in 2014 as well as 22 other major global awards.

    Nick is joined at the awards by ASK for Choice Strategist, Nora Dooley and Sustainability Strategist, Adam Burgess.  The Awards may very well feel like a reunion of sorts, as the influence of CAC partnerships will be seen throughout.  Nick, Nora, and Adam will be very busy meeting our partners who were also shortlisted and meeting some other new faces.  CAC directly partners with 7 of the 35 finalists in the main categories.   There are also two separate categories where CAC partners are recognized.  2 of the 5 young leaders nominated for the Courageous Use of Sport Award and 2 of the 3 finalists for Sport for Refugees Award are CAC partners.

    Thursday, after the awards ceremony is the Beyond Sport United Conference.  Nora will be the expert on a panel on how sport specifically can support young people in being socially responsible and active.

    Not to be outdone by all the activity in NYC, 12 time zones away, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz is in Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Football  (AFC) Confederation Social Responsibility Conference and Dream Asia awards, occurring on the same two days.  As the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents is responsible for presenting at activities such as this one to share knowledge and best practices with their 47 member institutions as well as other organizations looking to use sport to create social change in Asia.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • VLC to Tackle Women’s Rights & Policy

    March 15, 2016. The Virtual Learning Community is Coaches Across Continents’ latest innovative strategic resource in our sport for social impact partnerships and to provide education for a changing world. The Virtual Learning Community (or VLC) is a series of specially designed monthly webinars that focus on key topics that allow for capacity building among sport for social impact organizations. Launched in January, the response has been wildly successful, being utilized by our partners across five continents. Hosted by CAC on a platform by Edudip, the VLC allows CAC to give presentations on critical issues, interact with participants, release videos, and obtain real-time monitoring and evaluation feedback.

    Originally open to members of our current partner programs, Coaches Across Continents is now proud to open this opportunity to any coach or organizational representative who is interested in sport for development. This growth will ultimately impact tens of millions of children in hundreds of countries, including war-torn areas or organizations not yet working with CAC.

    The next VLC will occur on March 23rd (9 AM EST, USA or 8 PM EST, USA) and is the most ambitious topic to date: creating gender equity policies for Women’s Rights specific to local communities. The webinar will delve into the existing CAC Women’s Rights policy, based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and then move towards working with participants to adopt, adapt, and then create their own women’s rights and gender equity policies for use in their own communities. Hosted by Dr. Judith Gates, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz, and sustainability strategist Adam Burgess, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

    If you are interested in attending and participating in the next VLC (March 23nd), please contact us at:  

    VLC photo

     

  • Organizational Transformation in Hawthorne

    February 16, 2015. Our partnership with Chevrolet FC recently opened a new futsal facility in Hawthorne, California. Located in the center of town and under the supervision of the Hawthorne Police and the Parks and Recreation Department, this facility has an opportunity to create a new dynamic within the community. Throughout the United States, too often news is being made between conflict between the police and its citizens. As part of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, communities should have the opportunity to engage with local law enforcement; participate in meetings, surveys, and other activities as well as participate in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life.

    One such initiative is the new soccer fields in Hawthorne. They now serve as a safe space for police officers and the communities to come together and learn from each other. For the past two weeks, Coaches Across Continents has been working with the Hawthorne Police, the local school system, and local businesses such as SpaceX so that the community leaders have the skills necessary to engage children and community members on the soccer fields to create positive relationships.

    Even though the courts are only a few days old, several success stories are already emerging. One is concerning a young local girl who has had a few negative interactions with the police. One evening, a local police officer took it upon himself to stop by her house to invite her and her brothers to the new soccer fields. On opening night, she was one of the first people onto the court, playing with other children and engaging in a positive manner with the local police and other community members. It is positive interactions such as this that will help to create strong working relationships so that in future there are not difficulties between the police and the community. The safe space created by Chevrolet FC is helping this community undergo positive transformation and to hopefully serve as a model for other communities to follow.

    In the coming weeks and months, we expect to hear dozens more such stories, as well as see the transformation happening within the community from both police officers and community members. We will continue to keep you updated on this great story from our continuing corporate partnership.

    DSC00210

    Everyone is enjoying the new facility in Hawthorne!

    DSC00489

    Officer Julian playing at Prairie View Middle School

    DSC00251

    The new fields in Hawthorne are now Open for Play!

     

  • Star Power in Hawthorne

    February 8th, 2016. The stars came out in force for the launching of the Chevrolet FC pitch in Hawthorne, Los Angeles. The eighth project in our award-winning partnership with Chevrolet brought out Manchester United legend Dennis Irwin, LA Galaxy/USMNT and Hawthorne native Gyasi Zardes, LA Galaxy player and former England international Steven Gerard, LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza and Baggio Husidic, and team president and former USMNT player Chris Klein.

    This impressive group of individuals were there to witness the power of play and see the beautiful possibilities that Chevrolet FC creates. Hawthorne, California was where Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) grew up.  As a child, Zardes was forbidden from playing in the park where they new pitches were created as they instituted a “no soccer” policy on park grounds.  However together with the Hawthorne Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department, Chevrolet FC has helped to change attitudes as they built three new futsal pitches in place of some unused and derelict tennis courts. These futsal courts are now the focal point of the community.

    Coaches Across Continents has been working throughout the project with the LA Galaxy Foundation and the Hawthorne Police department to ensure that this safe space can be used for social impact, and that the local coaches, police officers, and community leaders have the skills to do so.  In future, Hawthorne may see more great players emerge from their community, and tens of thousands of children will be able to enjoy the facility and learn from the sport in their new space.

    DSC00109

    Putting the final touches on a mural of LA Galaxy player and Hawthorne hero Gyasi Zardes

    DSC00182

    Manchester United legend Dennis Irwin shows some boys and girls a few new skills

  • EU SOU ALGUÉM! (I am somebody!)

    June 1, 2015. This past weekend marked the opening of the sixth pitch by Chevrolet FC and their #PlayItForward campaign, this time in Caracol, Penha, a favela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Partnering with Street Child United, Chevrolet is also a sponsor of the Street Child World Cup that was most recently held here in Rio de Janiero last year.  A legacy of that event was the formation of a Street Child United in Penha. However, despite their training of the girls World Cup champion Favela Street, this organization did not have a home pitch of their own and shared various spaces around the community. The opening of the field changes all that. This pitch will be a focal point for the Caracol community. Already the locals have embraced this pitch as their own, checking on the progress and making sure they were around for the official opening on Saturday, May 30th knowing that they could start playing on the pitch immediately after.

    Street Child United challenges the negative perceptions and treatment of street children. Their slogan “I am somebody” (in Portugese – Eu Sou Alguém) expresses their desire to give children an identity as well as the life skills necessary to succeed. Just like Coaches Across Continents, they do this through football. Our ten days of sport for social impact training and partnership will allow this new facility to be used to educate, and just as importantly to provide a safe haven for all children in the community.

    “This is our place to play football & to be happy. The streets are not safe. We are safe here. Thank you Street Child United and Chevrolet FC” – Coach Drika, Favela Street, Street Child United

    Joining the various local community leaders for the pitch launch was Street Child United ambassador Gilberto Silva, a 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil as well as FA Cup Winner, EPL Champion, and member of the “Invincibles.” His smiling presence and easy-going nature makes him approachable to children and community leaders alike, allowing himself to be a charismatic role model. After the field opening, the congregation made their way down to Ipanema, one of the iconic beaches of Rio, where they enjoyed a kick-around with Gilberto. It seems that he took it easy on the children, availing himself of any tackles – however he displayed his world-class abilities as he dribbled the entire team on one occasion.

    Coaches Across Continents is a proud partner with Chevrolet FC, winners of the 2014 Beyond Sport Award for Corporate of the Year. Together we have educated communities in six countries since 2014, using a new pitch as a focal point for social change.

    DSC02940

    This new Chevrolet FC pitch is a safe space for the community of Caracol

    DSC03115

    Gilberto Silva still has it!

  • Protecting Street Children in Penha (Rio)

    May 29th, 2015.  Penha is a favela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, located in the north zone.  It is a favela which has tremendous social problems including drug trafficking and seemingly weekly shootings often involving the ever-present police.  We are here with Street Child United which dedicates itself to improving the lives of street children and ensuring that they have access to the same rights as all other children.  You may also recognize them as the hosts of the Street Child World Cup, their flagship event where they bring teams of street children from dozens of countries together to compete every four years.

    However the impact that they have on the street children occurs daily, as they run training sessions with children in Penha.  Our award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC and their #PlayItForward campaign has allowed our two groups to work together for the past two weeks, collaborating as we implement a training plan that highlights specific aspects of our curriculum – most notably Child Rights and Conflict Resolution.  It is easy to state that children should have certain rights, such as the right to education, the right to safe sport, and the right to a protected home – but if adults are not fighting to ensure those rights, how could they be ensured?

    Our curriculum specifically teaches both coaches and children about the rights afforded them under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Most important is that they are fun, extremely soccer-specific, and create a safe space for children to learn while they are playing (UN Child Right #31).  Street Child United will take our curriculum and implement it into their training to ensure that their goal to create a world in which street children are protected, supported and given opportunities to realize their potential is reached.

    Also joining the training this week were coaches from Favella Street and PlayLife, and our staff was joined by Camila, a Community Impact Coach from our São Paulo partner ACER.  These coaches (all women) and girls who participated in training made this one of the most gender-balanced training sessions CAC have had.  These powerful female role models are helping to ensure the rights of young boys and girls in Brazil and through Street Child, around the world.

    DSC02522

    The coaches of Street Child United, Favella Street, and CAC

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!

    We enjoyed a weekend beach training session on the Copacabana!