CAC Partners With Coerver
Two global leaders in sport- Coerver and Coaches Across Continents- are partnering to bring the world’s best football development app to the poorest communities. The Coerver Players Club app is set to revolutionize the way football is delivered to children. Thanks to Coaches Across Continents network of organisations and the generosity of Coerver together we will make sure that this amazing app is made available to children from all walks of life.
Launching in November 2020, the program will pilot in South Africa and Cambodia before spreading across the rest of Asia. The goal of the project is to allow children to continue their football development, have regular access to exercise and improve their mental health whilst the world battles the global COVID-19 pandemic. Together we are creating a global legacy program that will benefit the youth of today.
Inspired by the revolutionary football development philosophy of legendary Dutch coach Wiel Coerver, Coerver® Coaching was founded in 1984 by Alf Galustian and former Chelsea great, Charlie Cooke. Since 1984, Coerver® Coaching has been at the center of the evolution of skilful, modern football, and is now a recognised leader in youth football education worldwide.
The Coerver® methodology is currently delivered to players, coaches and clubs in excess of 50 countries across the globe at all levels of the game. Throughout our 36 year history, Coerver® Coaching has worked with some of the world’s leading federations, clubs, coaches and players.
About Coaches Across Continents
Coaches Across Continents is an award-winning non-profit that works with education and community development. We design, develop, and implement partnerships with governments, foundations, corporations, and community-based organizations to create legacies based on the United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsIn the last decade Coaches Across Continents have won 29 global awards for our work delivering Purposeful Play in 133 countries which impacts over 16 million people.
Partnerships for the GOALS
The CAC team have been in Armenia this last week, working in Partnership with the Kansas National Guard and GOALS Armenia. Using our #PurposefulPlay curriculum, we delivered a 3 day summer camp high up on the beautiful mountains of Yenokavan, in Northern Armenia for local children of military families. Our Goal for this was to focus on UNSDG #5 Gender Equality whilst also introducing #EducationOutsideTheClassroom to young people who had never experienced it before. There were 44 children in attendance with an ideal 50/50 split of girls and boys.
The summer camp was a lot of fun and using the amazing story of Brazilian international football player and role model Marta, we were able to have in-depth conversations about the harmful impact of gender roles and we also had discussions about how we can be more inclusive in our schools and communities.
The brilliant GOALS Armenia facilitators played many games from our ASK For Choice curriculum, creating fun and safe environment where the participants could share their thoughts and feelings. We also introduced a lot of team-building activities, with one participant stating “I made many friends thanks to this camp and have gained a lot of skills like how to build my confidence and work as a team.”
The Kansas National Guard were also a major part of this camp – the 4 officers played a game with the children so they could learn more about life in the army in America, and also through this game their stereotypes were challenged when they learned the officer ‘in charge’ was the female officer. A special thanks to Major Solander for not only playing a major part in helping make this camp possible, but for sharing her inspiring story of being a female in the military and the challenges she faced.
This camp was a massive success, mostly down to the fact we had three organisations, from different countries and different backgrounds, coming together to put on a world class camp for the children and young people of Armenia. This was UNSDG #17 in action.
Getting out of your comfort zone is not as easy as I thought it would be. After the last two weeks in Armenia and Lebanon with CAC this was the first thought that crossed my mind.
Coaches Across Continents made it possible for me to explore new opportunities and deal with different cultures by applying a method based on creating a safe space where coaches and participants can be free to try, apply and exchange ideas. This safe space allows both sides to grow together and gain experience.
Being used to working in Fencing, an individual competitive sport, the experience with CAC was a very important chance for me to concentrate on different goals, and especially to reconsider the social impact and the power that sport can have to change society.
One focus of our work in particular was on women rights and the use of sport to empower women. Learning and applying CAC methodology also increased my own awareness of the constant violation of women rights in society, and gave me a different perspective on the subject. This kind of awareness will be very valuable and helpful in my development as a coach and I will try my best to use it to work for a change in my own country of Jordan. The desire to create a more equal society in my environment was a strong motivation to take part to this program in the first place, and CAC provided the safe space that I needed to develop ideas and strategies to work in this direction.
FINDING YOUR VOICE
July 19, 2018. Coaches Across Continents Global Citizen, Rosa Morales, writes about her experience working on field with GOALS Armenia in Martuni and Gyumri, Armenia for the third year of the ASK for Choice partnership.
“I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard … we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
There are many individuals who have the luxury of being born into a privileged family, where they have little to no concern in regards to the realities those in developing countries face. However, although those in westernized countries do not face the hardships that are faced elsewhere, they are still battling for similar rights. Being a woman, no matter the location, is a constant battle and through my experience with Coaches Across Continents (CAC) as a Global Citizen, I have become increasingly aware that we must raise awareness and encourage the younger generations to fight for their rights through a voice that has been suppressed for centuries.
In Armenia, women have been suppressing their voices due to a culture that emphasizes the man’s power. Here, women are seen as weaker than their male counterpart, diminishing the power of their voice based on the outdated concept of their place being at home, in a kitchen. However, women and organizations throughout the country have taken a stand against this. One nonprofit organization, GOALS Armenia, has taken a stand.
GOALS, Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer, an organization that “empowers youth to become leaders through the creation of safe spaces, speak their mind, and challenge social norms,” has primarily been focusing their largest impact on young girls. By targeting a younger audience, they provide the means to make an impact on social issues sooner than later – hoping to raise enough awareness for a more equal life for proceeding generations.
The participants that CAC worked with in Gyumri, Armenia struck me the hardest. The majority of these participants were women, attempting to make a difference in their communities. They were included in trainings and discussions that focused on methods to gain confidence in oneself, raise awareness on the many complex manifestations of discrimination in their country, and matters to make a positive, lasting social impact. Here, they were granted a voice that would usually be suppressed, allowing them to express the things that make them uncomfortable.
Topics ranged from gender inequality, inclusion, racism, sexism, religious views, and homophobia – each resulting in the group agreeing that educating and raising awareness within their communities will have the largest impact in regards to changing to a more progressive viewpoint.
As Malala stated in the quote above, we must raise our voice, not only for us, but also for those whom are denied a voice. By utilizing our voice to spread awareness on the inequalities and injustices that occur throughout the world, we raise awareness to allow for progression towards a more equal world. We must help each other to accomplish our goals, to progress as a human race. Thus, we must be compassionate and empathetic; we must remove ourselves from our comfortable, privileged homes and expose ourselves to the uncomfortable situations that millions of people experience daily.
While we are growing up, our parents tell us to “change the world,” to “make a difference,” but instead, we have been so focused on our personal growth that we forget that without others, we are alone. If we wish to strive for a world of opportunity, we must think about those who receive so little. We cannot change the world and make it a better place if we are working on doing so by ourselves – what would take us centuries to complete as individuals would take us far less time if we worked together.
As an individual in a more progressive society, we must forego our selfish nature and begin to focus on the “WE,” instead of the “I.” We can no longer ignore those who are crying for help from all around the world, but instead we shall join forces. Together, we can give a voice to those who have been voiceless, give strength to those who have been denied of their abilities, and allow their stories to be heard by those who have ignored them for so long.
Cultural Differences, Cultural Development
As a Community Impact Coach, I joined Jordan from CAC in Lebanon. On the third week of training, we moved from the seashore to the mountainous region of Zahle. The taxi driver who took us to the region was very kind and stopped every now and then to allow us to take some photos of the beautiful view. Later on, we arrived in Zahle; we were staying in the area of Maronite Christians, which was surrounded by statues of St. Charbel and Maryam. We descended towards the lower part of the mountain to Saadnayel, which is the beginning of the Muslim region – and where we were holding our training.
The participants of the training were of different nationalities, including Palestinians and Syrians. They had different backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs. Seeing past each others differences is one of the most important factors in life skills through sport for social impact games. There were challenges in implementing the games because of cultural difference and the interaction of both genders; the problem was solved by using alternative methods – ex. tagging or holding hands through use of the bibs.
During the first day, men were playing very rigorously during the games, which made women want to sit at the back and not show any willingness to participate. By bringing this issue up during discussions and asking for solutions, they agreed on equal participation. During one of the coach back sessions, the participants had set a rule where only the women could score a goal. This demonstrated good progression of the group.
One of the participants who motivated me was a lady called Mirna, who was born with a disability because of the relative marriage of her parents. She is a Ph.D. student who is studying NLP. She is Palestinian and living as part of a minority group in Lebanon. Observing different kinds of discrimination, she spent most of her childhood in hospitals and at home. She overcame her isolation with the help of her psychologist by setting life goals. She is a life skills instructor, a psychologist, and a role model for many of her students.
Obtaining experience in coaching different groups of cultures and religions allowed me to better understand their mentality, and it facilitated the sharing of ideas and knowledge. It was inspiring to see and meet different people who thrive to provide equal opportunity for their students and provide a safe space for them to express their opinions.
Tbilisi – City of Culture, Poets and Passionate Coaches
September 18th 2017. CAC Community Impact Coach Lorik Hartoun, from our partners GOALS Armenia, discusses her experiences during our work with Georgia Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in Tbilisi. We want to thank the Games 4 Good Foundation for supporting Lorik’s trip to Georgia.
Almost every Armenian poet, author and intellectual has studied and been educated in Tbilisi in the 19th century and earlier. I have always wanted to visit this city and feel the culture and passion hidden within. I was lucky enough to be able to travel with Coaches Across Continents as a Community Impact Coach (CIC).
As we were on our journey from Yerevan-Armenia to Tbilisi-Georgia, I had my list of places to visit and some information about the people and country. We entered the city and drove through the city center Avlabari, which is home to an Armenian community. We passed through cobbled streets and saw churches with different architectural styles. We also passed by Rustaveli street which was my favorite, because of its mixture of old stoned and column buildings and modern glass towers. Finally we reached our hotel.
Our program was held and organized by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. Almost 80 coaches representing 23 different disciplines registered for the program. It was very interesting to get to know people who are very similar to my ethnicity. Everything except the language was common and similar to Armenians. Even their comments, jokes, their love towards poets, culture and patriotism were similar.
During the week-long seminar, I learned about the rules of different sports and exercises such as American Football, Frisbee, Baseball, Kudo, Judo and more. It was very inspiring to get to know female judo and other martial arts coaches. During the program we had a discussion about gender equality and their opinions towards it. It was a challenging topic and it was mostly the women who were aware of the positive consequences of implementing gender equality. I also learned that in Georgian the word for ‘mother’ is ‘Deda’, which means mother of Earth. The word for ‘father’ is ‘Mama’. It was very interesting to me that in Georgian the symbol of earth and empowerment is associated with the mother of the family.
On the last day of the seminar we closed the program with a discussion about children’s rights and the characteristics of a good coach. I received positive feedback from the participants and they showed their willingness to attend the CAC seminar next year. I gained invaluable experience as a CIC during this program; I met coaches and made new friends and partners who would like to organize programs focusing on Female Empowerment. I want to thank CAC for giving me this opportunity.
On the last night I had some very tasty Georgian wine, combined with lots of toasts and celebrations towards the connection of sport and peace. I want to make a toast towards this program of CAC and its growth and I hope it continues its efforts around the world. Puchka Puchka (Cheers in Georgian)!