• Diverse Coaches in Harare

    July 2nd 2014. CAC 2nd year volunteer Charlie Crawford blogs from Harare, Zimbabwe. 

    In Zimbabwe’s capitol of Harare I found myself getting ready for my 3rd week of working for Coaches Across Continents this summer.  Every program is different, but some frustrations with last week’s attendance had me holding my breath as we stepped onto Queen Elizabeth School’s field.  I didn’t need to hold it long.  Right off the bat we had a majority of participants sitting in the stands waiting for us to get started.  Because so many were there so early we went around to informally introduce everyone.  Among the participants were nutrition teachers, football, swimming, volleyball and netball coaches, prison guards, sports commissioners and a dozen others, all eager to begin.  Couldn’t hand-pick a better crew.

    The week progressed as I’ve learned a program is meant to.  By the end of each session participants and coaches alike were exhausted.  Often a number of them would approach one of us after and describe how the games or a slight variation that they learned that day were just the sort that they had been looking to implement through their own sport in their own community.

    Following a full day of running around, Markus, Julie, Layla and I would walk into the city with a few members of Bulldogs to spend $2 for a healthy serving of Sadza and Fish/Chicken (or cow stomach which I mistook for slightly furry fish).  On one of these walks through the city we came out of the ice cream shop we had been indulging in as sirens blared and three police motorcycles were followed by 2 large black SUVs, a black limo with tinted windows, and two military convoys bristling with soldiers with leveled weapons scanning the crowd.  It looked like there was a government convoy passing!

    After a refreshingly fulfilling 4 days of games it was time for the Child Right’s discussion (only sit-down-talk part of our curriculum).  Ill admit to being a little nervous guiding it myself for the first time but I could not have asked for a better group of coaches and teachers.  The more universal points on general abuse were engaged in thoughtfully and powerfully.  More interesting though, for me at least, was the lengthy detour the group took to discuss the reality of and communal approach to homosexuality.  In a country whose constitution condemns it as a criminal act, creating a space where all manners and perspectives could be safely expressed and listened to was probably the most educational part of my two summers working with CAC.

    Later that night, after Germany beat the USA 1-0 (you got lucky Markus, I Believe Russia 2018), the leaders of Bulldogs took us out to enjoy a night of dancing and food.  Fortunately for those of us with two left feet, the dance floor was literally empty except for the DJs, which encouraged us to make quality fools of ourselves and even attracted a 24 cow marriage proposal for one in our party.

    It doesn’t get much better than ending a week of work with responsive coaches but Markus managed to top it off in a way only he could.  As we left Queen Elizabeth’s field for the last time, a group of teenage female students fresh from their classes drew our attention when their informal singing was interrupted by a fit of giggles and whispers directed at Markus.  Delighted by his fresh popularity, Markus approached and politely asked for another song.  Bulldogs leaders, participants, Layla, Julie, and I could only watch as Makrus and his pony tail bobbed back and forth to a beautiful rendition of John Legend’s All of Me.  It was a revitalizing week and I can’t wait to get back at it in northern Zambia!

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  • Bulldogs and CAC Team up Again

    image_1Oct. 16, 2013. Another week spent with Bulldogs Sports Development Trust but this week, our CAC coaches, Sophie Legros, Becca Meierbachtol, and Danielle Foxhoven helped Bulldog’s coaches in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    What a good week it was! The week started out Monday morning with 20
    excited coaches and community leaders from all around Harare. Contrary
    to Zimbabwe summer weather, the rains hit hard and the first day was spent in the primary school gym. Walking soccer was the biggest hit of the day.

    The majority of the coaches in the program were higher level coaches from all sport disciplines. There was softball, volleyball, tennis and of course some soccer coaches that attended. All of the coaches were there with the same vision, to better their coaching techniques in order to address the biggest issues they see in their communities and to better reach the children that they coach.

    Our CAC coaches spent 13 hours in 5 days going over games that could be adaptable to all sports and still address the deepest issues within the communities here in Zimbabwe.

    The last day of full training proved to be one of the best response we have seen to the Coaches Across Continents games here in Zimbabwe. The HIV/AIDS and alcohol abuse games opened up many discussions and questions for all of the coaches to discuss. They found that they were all dealing with similar problems and many of them had solutions that could be shared. All of the coaches, CAC coaches included, came away from the program feeling more educated and inspired to help make changes, big or small.

    Friday came with high amounts of excitement as it marked the end of CAC’s time in Zimbabwe for this year. As well as the beginning of an impactful career as a CAC impact coach for the newly certified coaches in Harare, Zimbabwe. Let the easiest part of being a coach end and the most difficult but also the most gratifying part of being a coach begin, the responsibility and path to real change in a community.

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  • Bulldogs and CAC in Bindura, Zimbabwe

    DSC_0372October 14, 2013. After a hot week in Mutare, group leader Sophie Legros led the team that had just coached with S4S, Jon Dickinson, Becca Meierbachtol, and Danielle Foxhoven about 6 hours away into rural Zimbabwe. On September 23rd they drove into a small town called Bindura to join forces with a very impactful group of highly motivated organization, Bulldogs Sports Development Trust.

    In Bindura our CAC coaches stocked up for the week and then continued to drive another 10km into Manhenga region. They met their host families for the week and got settled in just in time to have a good nights rest before starting the week of training on Monday. The volunteer coaches were split into two groups because of the programs’ schedules. Jon and Becca coached in Bindura urban area, while Sophie and Dani coached in Manhenga rural area.

    Jon and Becca had 46 men and women attend their weeks’s sessions. They also had one of Zimbabwe’s Community Impact Coach helping them, Stanford. Becca and Jon left every afternoon at 12 to walk to the Main Street where they would catch a combi into Bindura for their session at 2. It was the first year of training for this group of community leaders and coaches. They were taught 7-10 games every day. The games ranged from HIV/AIDs awareness and prevention games to team building and communication games. The coaches brought a great attitude and with it an incredible aptitude for taking in lessons from all of the games being taught!

    Sophie and Dani had about 20 men and women attending their weeks’s sessions. It was the second year for most the Manhenga rural area coaches. Sophie and Dani also had the help of Zimbabwe’s other Community Impact Coach, Shepard. The program was run in the heat of the day from 2 until 4 everyday. The same time that the children who attended Wyerera Primary were being released for the day, so every day they had an audience of at least 200 children. The adults and community leaders were well prepared with water and hats in order to keep their smiles and energy up while working hard to learn all of the games our CAC coaches were teaching!

    After 7 hours of on field training the community leaders were confident during their coach back sessions and were elated as they were given their certificates ensuring they completed the weeks trainings! Needless to say they were excited to implement their newest skill sets on the field with the children!

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  • Meet the Coaches Working In Zimbabwe

    September 16, 2013.  This is the second year for Coaches Across Continents in Zimbabwe.  We will be working with Sport 4 Socialisation in Mutare and with Bulldogs Sport Development Trust in Bindura and Harare.  The CAC team that will be working with these fine programs consist of Sophie LeGros, Jon Dickinson, Dani Foxhoven, and Becca Meierbachtol.  Recently one of these four coaches won a national title – do you know which one?  Answer coming tomorrow…

    Five Fun Football Facts with Jon Dickson:

    Favorite Team: Manchester United
    Favorite Player: Eric Cantona
    Favorite Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson
    Favorite Movie: Old School
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Brazil (2014) and Germany (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “Traveling to a country with completely different cultures, scenery, and values than my own provides an opportunity for cross-learning.  Whilst I hope that my time and energy on the CAC programs will benefit the people I come in to contact with in Zimbabwe, I also look forward to the learning and personal development it will provide for me in return.”   
    40045_419801501898_652096898_5290307_6223486_nFive Fun Football Facts with Dani Foxhoven:

    Favorite Team: Liverpool
    Favorite Player: Messi
    Favorite Coach: Pep Guardiola
    Favorite Movie: Big Fish
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Brasil (2014) and USA (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture and learning from the lifestyles of the people in Zimbabwe and Tanzania”
    BeccaFive Fun Football Facts with Becca Meierbachtol:

    Favorite Team: Portland Thorns
    Favorite Player: Christine Sinclair
    Favorite Coach: Clive Charles
    Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
    Who will win the World Cup 2014 and 2015: Spain (2014) and USA (2015)
    Why I am looking forward to working with CAC?: “I am looking forward to learning form the kids and adults we work with and having my eyes opened to a new experience with food, people and cultures.” 
  • I am a girl, I have a voice, listen to me!!

    Zambia 2March 8th, 2013.  Coaches Across Continents is a global leader in using sport to empower women.  One of our key partnership criteria is that we will only work with local communities who include women in their program as both coaches and players.

    This video shows our partnership with Standard Chartered Bank and Women Win to use sport as a vehicle for Female Empowerment.

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    International Women’s Day is one of three days throughout the year where we ask all our implementing partners to do something special in their communities and this year there are some fantastic events planned in Indonesia, Cameroon, India, Haiti, Colombia, Zimbabwe and many more.

    Coaches Across Continents used Sport Session Planner to send Female Empowerment games to all our partners to help them with their event.

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  • IMPACT Zimbabwe: The Bulldogs Sports Development Trust

    Nov 25th, 2012:  Bulldogs update:

    The Bulldogs Sports Development Trust started a program in Manhenga, a very rural area outside of Harare, Zimbabwe. CAC taught 90+ future coaches and made it on to national TV as the first foreigners to visit this part of Zim. We are happy to report that following our departure, the Bulldogs Sport Development U13 boys team were invited to participate in the Youth Education Through Sport (YES) Festival for the first time. The YES FESTIVAL was hosted by Zimbabwe Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), and the theme was “Reverse the HIV/AIDS Tide…..Safeguard the Environment through Sport!!” For the Peer Education Component of the festival, the boys played and taught our CAC HIV games, while wearing our donated jerseys with the CAC logo. See attached pictures!

    Volunteers:
    Kevin Harrington, Vas Giahos, Tim Wheaton, Emmy Wheaton, Melanie Baskind, Brian Suskiewicz

    We want to thank everyone for all their help this past year.  Coaches Across Continents has set company records for the number of programs assisted, number of coaches taught, number of children reached, and number of communities and countries visited.

    Your efforts have helped change lives and are continuing to improve communities. To keep volunteers up to date on how their work continues to impact others, we will be sending emails that highlight programs from a specific country and their ongoing successes.