• Post-Disaster Sustainable Legacies: the AFC & CAC

    March 25, 2018. Kathmandu and Sindhupalchok, Nepal. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), and Coaches Across Continents joined forces this past weekend for three important events. There was a school dedication ceremony in Sindhupalchok, Nepal signifying the completion and handover of the AFC school rebuilding project, as well as a coaching education workshop on sport for social impact, followed by a clinic for Nepali street children.

    As the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is working with ANFA grassroots coaches in Nepal, creating Education Outside the Classroom. Through football, we create learning opportunities to enable the social development of players on key topics like Health & Wellness, the importance of Education, Child Rights, communication and confidence, and teamwork.

    Thirty-four coaches worked with Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz on Friday learning our award-winning methodology and curriculum. We then held our first joint clinic with social development as the primary focus, working with over 50 street children from the organization Shelter.  Incidentally, a team from Shelter will be representing Nepal in Russia this summer at the Street Child World Cup.

    Saturday at the Shree Setidevi School, near Chautara, Sindhupalchok, Nepal was the official school dedication and handover ceremony. The original school building was completely decimated by the 2015 earthquake. The new school is now one of the nicest in the entire country. Standing two stories tall, it houses 18 classrooms, a central courtyard, washrooms, offices, and a water filtration system that will serve the entire community as well as the 600+ students who will attend the school.

    Key dignitaries in attendance throughout the weekend included AFC Executive Committee member and Chairman of Social Responsibility Ahmed Eid (Saudi Arabia), ANFA President Narendra Shrestha (Nepal), AFC Head of Social Responsibility Dr. Annathurai Ranganathan (Malaysia), CAC Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz (USA / Nicaragua), as well as other local dignitaries.

    As a proud partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents will continue to support the Asian Football Confederation in Creating Legacies throughout their 47 Member Associations. Other continuing post-disaster Legacy Programs include our partnership in Tacloban, the Philippines, as the community continues to develop following Typhoon Yolanda.

  • CAC’s LA Adventure

    January 17th 2017. The CAC world has revolved around Los Angeles, USA over the past 10 days. For 4 days the team discussed CAC strategy at the Hawthorne Police Department who kindly allowed us to use their community room. We also covered new aspects of the CAC curriculum on the Chevrolet FC field which is managed and used by the Hawthorne PD to break down barriers between the police and local youth. It was built last year and opened by Manchester United legend Denis Irwin and Gyasi Zardes of LA Galaxy. Towards the end of the 10 days we branched out and fulfilled other commitments in the LA area:

    1. We ran a session with teachers from 9 different ICEF schools in the LA area (see picture above). This session focused on CAC’s educational Self-Directed Learning methodology. We demonstrated some CAC games to the group of engaged and passionate teachers which led to many fun and interactive discussions.
    2. Three of the CAC team (Nora Dooley, Emily Kruger and Kelly Conheeney) talked to volunteer Carrie Taylor on her radio show called Women Talking Football which airs on KaoticRadio.com. They discussed CAC’s partnership model and our ASK for Choice initiative which influences gender policy globally.
    3. CAC’s Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz and ASK for Choice Strategist Nora Dooley presented at the NSCAA Convention at the LA Convention Center (see picture below). They analyzed ‘Global Coaching for Social Impact: What US Soccer Can Learn From Developing Countries’. During the convention CAC was also able to meet with many of our partners, old and new.
    4. Brian was also on a podcast called Youth Soccer Spotlight which is broadcast from Network Studios in LA. They welcomed Brian on to discuss CAC, our work and the work of many of the youth soccer coaches who get involved with CAC. Check out this podcast here.

    While it was a very busy week for the full CAC team things don’t get quieter! Some of the team have already gone to Haiti to start our 2017 partner programs with the Haitian Initiative while others have major external meetings planned this week. More on that soon!

  • Encuentro Internacional de Educatión Física

    August 7, 2016.  This past week CAC Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz was a key presenter and speaker at the Encuentro Internacional de Educatión Física in Lima, Peru hosted by the Ministry of Education. This international meeting is a space for exchange of experiences, ideas, practical implementation, and strengthening teaching practices. CAC was invited to present at this prestigious conference based on our partnerships and relationships within Peru with numerous groups such as UNICEF, various ministries, and other strong NGO implementing partners. One of our member partners, Fútbol Más, also presented their curriculum and methodology at the conference.

    Attended by over 2,000 practitioners, teachers, coaches, and pedagogical members of the Ministry of Education and other government officials, the international conference will launch the new National Curriculum and aim to strengthen physical education and school sports across all levels of Basic Education (preschool, primary, and secondary). Registration for the conference exceeded 8,000 people, but space limited the attendees to only 2,000 individuals. The Ministry of Education live streamed the event for more inclusion. Presenters included experts in all fields of physical education from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Peru, and Spain, Chile.

    During the conference Brian was interviewed by TV Peru (national television) and ANDINA, a news agency owned by the Peruvian government. On Thursday, newly sworn-in Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was shown on morning television with his cabinet exercising, sparking an interest in the physical education conference.

    CAC’s methodology and curriculum has been well received and adopted by various government ministries, community partners, and NGOs during our year-round partnerships in the past several years. This presentation will further enhance this exchange of ideas and practices as well as strengthen our relationship with various Peruvian agencies that wish to create pathways for social change through sport.

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  • 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:  

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  • 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.

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    Everyone is enjoying the new facility in Hawthorne!

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    Officer Julian playing at Prairie View Middle School

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    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.

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

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