• 2013: Off the Field

    423806_468199913262760_1689631232_nJanuary 1st 2014. Happy New Year! Coaches Across Continents have had an incredible 2013 both with the programs all over the world and with the development of the organisation to ensure the quality and consistency of the work that is done. Across the board CAC have worked in more countries with more community partners, coached more local coaches and reached more children through the program. This operational growth is not possible without constant work behind the scenes to ensure that CAC adapts and improves to solidify its spot as global leaders in sport for social impact.

    Coaches Across Continents is based on collaborative partnerships which are used to ensure the greatest impact for the communities in which we work. From on field partnerships with all 51 of our community partners to off field partnerships which strengthen the organisation they are integral to our success. In 2013 we continued to develop our partnership with One World Futbol, the maker of the virtually indestructible ball. These sustainable balls are now being used at most of our programs with many of our community partners gaining access to the ball. Our network of NGO’s benefits One World Futbol and the balls add great value to our program. We filmed a program in Brazil for One World Futbol/ Chevrolet and ESPN which resulted in some inspiring footage for all parties involved.IMG_6936

    Our work with Standard Chartered bank led to many incredible programs in 2013 in Ghana, Tanzania and Indonesia highlighting the potential for successful non-profit and corporate partnerships. The Standard Chartered/ Women Win/ Coaches Across Continents GOAL female empowerment program also succeeded by reaching thousands more young people. CAC also demonstrated our ability to engage employees by running training for a large number of Standard Chartered employees in Indonesia. We have worked closely with other partners such as XL Soccer, and Harvard University in 2013 while our membership within the Street Football World and Beyond Sport networks continue to be invaluable.

    CAC have also had a strong presence off the field at global conferences and workshops which highlight the importance of sport and its ability to positively impact communities. In April we attended the Soccerex event in Manchester, UK. Combining with OWF we had a booth and were able to generate exposure and meet with many influential people in the world of sport. This was followed by Nick Gates, the founder of CAC, speaking at a Soccerex convention in Brazil in June. In September CAC participated in the Street Football World North America workshop in Philadelphia. This involved high level meetings focused on strategic direction, monitoring and evaluation and human resource. Following this workshop Nick spoke at the Beyond Soccer and Beyond Sport events in Philadelphia.

    93c5e16fae671c1a3bd9f0d655da3cf3e1519f9dThis meant that CAC were represented on panels concerning monitoring the success of the program and curriculum development demonstrating the high regard with which CAC is held in the sport for social impact community. Throughout the year CAC has been recognised in the field with requests to both speak and to attend events such as the Doha Goals Forum in December and the Social Venture Network convention in Baltimore. As sport for social impact grows it is clear that CAC has been recognised as a global leader in terms of programming, strategic growth, evaluation and curriculum. This standing in the community has already continued into 2014 with Nick scheduled to speak at a conference in India in February.

    The on-field growth over 5 years has precipitated a development and growth in the organisation off the field. There are now more staff to run and develop CAC with more needed in 2014 to continue the previous years successes. Our coach advisory board constantly work to develop our curriculum to be at the forefront of international issues such as child protection and women’s rights. While the business advisory board are key in allowing these programs to run smoothly through their improvement of organisational policies and practices. Our award winning WISER monitoring and evaluation system is regularly tested and adapted to stay ahead of the curve.999186_499738880108863_715460694_n

    We understand the importance of an innovative and relevant organisation and therefore have been undergoing an in depth brand refresh process with the help of the Taiji brand group. In the coming weeks and months this process will be finalised with positive implications for Coaches Across Continents, our community partners and participants. Moving into 2014 CAC will be growing, having impact and having fun with our proven concept of using soccer to create social change in communities across the world.

  • Potatoes are Brilliant

    slum1November 17, 2013.  …you can’t have too many bananas and never ask Nick Gates to share his Kit-Kat. These are the only things I, Sarah Brown (pictured right), learnt in my first week in India!  Actually nothing could be further from the truth.  I had the enormous privilege of spending my first on-field experience working with CAC and Slum Soccer in Nagpur and it was a steep learning curve. Having previously been involved in the business side of CAC it was really important for me to see first hand how much communities can be positively impacted.  I couldn’t have hoped for a better introduction.  I had the honor of learning the ropes from Nick, Sophie and Nora.
    slum3Slum Soccer is an amazing organization that creates young leaders through football. They also run an annual nationwide tournament and coordinate the Homeless World Cup squad that represents India each year.  This is the third year that CAC have worked with Slum Soccer and those that had seen where they started were continuously praising them for their achievements.  There were 53 participants in the program, incorporating second and first year coaches as well as young leaders from other organizations such as Naz Goal and Maher.  I was extremely impressed by the commitment, passion and maturity displayed by all who attended and particularly struck by the confidence, tenacity and ability of the girls.  Truly inspirational in a country which is not exactly renowned for its gender equality or child rights.  I slowly got to grips with the games although I’m still rather perplexed by the social impact message in 3 bums.  I’m sure Sophie can explain with time though.
    We also got to coach kids from outside Slum Soccer in the evenings.  It was very moving for me to see how much joy they got out of one hour of our time.  One evening we worked with the kids of the Sunshine Foundation who rehabilitate children of sex workers to try to prevent second generation trafficking. Hopefully this will inspire them to join Slum Soccer and become the young leaders of the future.
    slum2Our accommodation was in a great house situated right next to the football pitch where we worked everyday and also an apartment in central Nagpur owned by the Sunshine Foundation when our numbers increased with the arrival of Graham Bradford.  One of the highlights of the week for Nick must surely have been when he arranged for all the young coaches to burst out laughing when Graham announced what team he supports.  All sympathy may evaporate though when you hear that he is a Sunderland fan!  The other, and perhaps most crucial, member of the team was director/producer/photographer/film-maker Kevin.  He worked tirelessly for the whole week creating what will be the 2013 CAC documentary. We found him an utter joy to have around.  Unfortunately, we discovered that the feelings weren’t mutual when he took the desperate measure of trying to board his plane 24 hours early.
    slum5I learnt so much in one week: About CAC and how it genuinely impacts communities in a sustainable way; about Slum Soccer and the amazing kids and young adults that are showing us how self-directed learning can and should work; and about the incredible passion and commitment of the staff of both organizations.  Thank you to those who have made this such a memorable week for me.  And a special thank you to Abhijeet and his family for being so welcoming and supportive.  Keep up the amazing work.