• Playing With A Purpose

    CAC leaders Saraswati Negi and Nandini Vijay Kumar recently traveled to Bangladesh to work with coaches and youth leaders from our partners Sports for Hope and Independence. Here Nandini writes about that experience.

    PLAY…… the word that always puts a smile on everyone’s face irrespective of age, caste, socio economic background and region. So when we say Purposeful Play it is a mixed reaction of both joy and confusion, joy because it is play but the confusion is how can it be purposeful. So then what is Purposeful Play? As the name suggests, play with a purpose. We at CAC believe that play should be meaningful and our participants should learn through our Self-Directed Learning methodology. We use play as a tool to help our coaches/ participants address social issues and life skills, which helps them better connect to real life situations.

    What better way then to interact with young coaches and youth leaders of Sports for Hope and Independence, Bangladesh than through Purposeful Play as we did recently.

    An introduction to the Play Based Methodology, Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom opened the minds of these young leaders who will go back to their communities and work with children, adolescents and youth. 

    At the onset we observed the participants were confused about how we can connect sport/games to life but the next day after experiencing real life situations on field they were able to make these connections very well. As we follow the 80:20 play: discussion method we found that participants express themselves more confidently and were able to recognize challenges in their communities and they were able to come up with different solutions to the same challenge. The coaches experienced the joy of playing and understood the importance of including play in their everyday training sessions.

    Gender inequality is one of the biggest challenges that any community faces especially communities in South Asia that are Patriarchal over generations and these traditions are considered normal here. Cultural norms and restrictions curtail girls/women from stepping out, voicing out and moving forward toward their own betterment. The Purposeful Play methodology helped these young coaches identify cultural and natural differences between boys and girls/ men and women. 

    Every developing or underdeveloped country is working toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and through our Purposeful Play we helped the coaches understand the meaning of sustainability and how education and sport need to go hand in hand to achieve sustainability. Purposeful Play focuses on SDG4: Quality Education where we help our participants redefine success and help them differentiate between Chance and Choice, cheating and making mistakes and learning from their mistakes and from one another which is Self-Directed Learning. As a coach what better education can one give than to help them understand that it is OK to make mistakes as long as they learn from them and do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    A coach should be one who can create a safe space for his/her participants to be able to express themselves freely and not judge them based on their caste, religion, community, socio economic background or their experiences. A coach is not all knowing there should not be any hierarchy and they should be willing to listen to their participants, be one among them and be open to learning from them as well.

    Messages like these when spoken can be very heavy for one to handle and he/she might not be able to understand the concept clearly but we have created an experiential learning environment where we address these through games/play so once they experienced the situations they were able to connect faster.

  • Project Launch – Gender and Climate

    We are delighted to announce the 10 successful Women-Led Organisations that will be working in partnership with CAC’s Choice for Women brand on the Gender and Climate Project funded by The Swedish Postcode Foundation.

    Sports With A Mission

    GOALS Haiti

    The Girls Foundation of Tanzania

    Kick4Life

    Raya34 Sports

    Reclaim Childhood

    Palestine Sports for Life

    GOALS Armenia

    Misbah Volleyball Academy

    Futebol dá Força Foundation

    Our successful partners come from 10 different countries representing the regions of the  Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Eurasia. Three of these organizations have completed their CAC accreditation pathway and a further three are on track to become accredited in 2023. One of these organizations has a CAC accredited coach and at least two women coaches from other organizations in this cohort will be accredited in 2023.

    These organizations will recruit and train 20 women leaders from within their communities who will receive virtual training and support to deliver a custom designed Purposeful Play curriculum focusing on gender issues which are exacerbated by the climate crisis. 

    Together CAC and the women-led organizations will aim to educate 15,000 participants over the course of the next 12 months to increase knowledge and confidence regarding gender and climate issues, creating a legacy of empowered women who can become activists within their communities.

    Each organization will also select one female climate activist who will design and implement their own climate related project to educate and empower others to make positive changes that benefit the environment. 

    If you have would like further information about this project please contact

  • Partnership With PLAY International

    PLAY International and Coaches Across Continents have signed an agreement to create opportunities for the implementation of social development programmes. The two organisations have committed to sharing their educational contents and testing each other’s play sessions, to learn from each other.

    “CAC is delighted to launch this partnership with PLAY International. We have been working towards similar goals for many years with the shared desire to use intentional and thoughtful play-based methodologies to achieve sustainable social impacts. We have great respect for PLAY’s work and approach and we’re thrilled to explore the possibilities of this collaboration and what we can achieve with our collective experience and programs.”
    Nora Dooley, Impact Team Leader and Choice for Women Brand Director

    “PLAY International and Coaches Across Continents are both developing pedagogies using sports games to serve social ambitions and more equality; our respective expertise has enabled us to reach very similar conclusions on the possibility of training professionals in innovative content while allowing children to learn and change their perceptions while having fun. The concrete practices of CAC, especially through the use of football, will undoubtedly be a source of enrichment for our programmes and we are looking forward to this collaboration full of educational, sporty, playful perspectives.”
    Henri Lelorrain, PLAY pedagogical referent.

    About Coaches Across Continents
    Coaches Across Continents is the global leader in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to address the UN SDGs and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. CAC’s three brands work at all levels, from advising governments and creating corporate social purpose to advancing community organizations, developing coaches, and educating young people. Through 15 years of creating legacies of social change, CAC has been recognized with 30 major global awards.

    About PLAY International

    PLAY International is a pioneering NGO working in the field of development and education through
    sport. It was founded in 1999 with the core belief that sport is a source of solutions to meet our social
    challenges. For 20 years, PLAY International has invested in sport as a lever for education and social change. This action in the field shows that it is possible to positively impact the life course by inventing new ways of using physical activity and sport: to promote learning and develop life skills; facilitate dialogue between war-battered communities; etc.

  • The 1st Ever HeadSAFE Project

    Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is delighted to be a 2022 FIFA Foundation Community Programme-supported organisation! Together with our partners training4changeS, Head for Change, Sport Session Planner, and Rezzil we will be delivering the 1st ever project promoting safe heading in football. The biggest threat to Child Safety in football programming is heading the ball. A recent study in the UK showed that footballers were 3.5 times more likely to suffer neurodegenerative disease than the general population. The English FA has banned heading for under 12’s in training and are piloting a ban in games. The professional game has just instructed that players do no more than 10 high impact headers per week. Last year Head for Change hosted the first football match which banned heading at Spennymoor FC. Now more than ever, it is vital that all participants in football are aware of the potential impact of heading on long-term neurology. 

    CAC and Head for Change is proud to be at the forefront of this work. We recently met with England football legend Kevin Keegan to talk about HeadSAFE and the solutions to this upsetting problem. A number of Kevin’s teammates have been diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease. In addition, it has been widely documented that many members of the England 1966 World Cup winning team, including Ray Wilson, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton, Bobby Charlton, and Nobby Stiles, have been affected by dementia in recent years.  

    In response to this critical issue CAC and our partners are piloting an educational project which will promote safe heading throughout the sport. CAC have designed a unique play-based curriculum, using the Sport Session Planner platform, which ensures youth leaders have the tools to discuss vital messages around heading, brain development and hydration with their participants. The curriculum is consistent while being adaptable for the specific challenges facing a diverse range of communities globally. CAC have trained training4changeS leaders in Stellenbosch, South Africa in the curriculum so they can effectively deliver HeadSAFE in their 2022 youth programming weekly. In addition, we have provided training4changeS with a virtual reality headset which utilise’s Rezzil’s Player 22 safe heading software so their participants can learn the technique behind head the ball without the constant head and brain impact. As part of this pilot we are designing guidelines for safe heading protection in youth programs and we are committing to reducing heading in the programming by at least 25%.

    CAC Board Member and Head for Change Co-Founder Judith Gates says:

    ‘It is seeing at first hand the effects of CTE, an unremitting progressive disease only caused by concussive and sub concussive head injuries, that motivated me to be a co-founder of Head for Change. I will do all in my power to protect others from the devastating consequences of sports related neurodegenerative disease. Let’s work together to bring about the changes we know are needed, let’s work together to create a safer sporting future.’

    ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:

    About FIFA Foundation Community Programme

    The Foundation Community Programme supports organisations that use football as a tool for social change and to improve the lives of underprivileged people around the world. Once a year, the FIFA Foundation invites established non-profit entities to apply for project funding in order to use football as a tool to address social issues affecting young people such as education, health, peacebuilding, refugees, leadership and gender equality.

    Coaches Across Continents

    Coaches Across Continents is an award-winning non-profit focused on education and community development. Its Purposeful Play curriculum and Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) methodology supports communities to design pathways towards social change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. EOC empowers communities, organizations, leaders and young people to analyze their needs and implement strategies to choose their futures. CAC has trained and certified 25,000+ community coaches and leaders, and annually, provides quality education for over 16 million youth.

    CONTACTS:

    Coaches Across Continents – Adam Burgess,

  • Goals, Voices, Choices

    Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is excited to be collaborating with fellow experts in leadership through youth sports- The Sports Creative (TSC). We both believe in the importance of giving young people the confidence to use their voices and tell their unique stories. Together we have co-designed a play-based curriculum guidebook which The Sports Creative coaches will be able to use in their 6 community programs worldwide in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Villa Hermosa, Dominican Republic; Valle de Chalco, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Doha, Qatar; and Philadelphia, USA.

    Called ‘Goals, Voices, Choices’ the curriculum aligns with core Sports Creative model themes such as Our Community, Our Voices, and Our Culture, and will allow educational topics, typically delivered in a classroom setting, to be facilitated on the sports field. The Sports Creative have an existing activity pathway for all program participants which includes individual storytelling, personal development exploration, and creative art opportunities. This curriculum will link those activities to play-based games which empowers youth with confidence, and supports them to identify viable goals in well-being, education, and their lives. Balancing play-based activities with discussion-based activities will ensure youth with varying interests will engage with the program and benefit from the opportunities it provides.

    We will use the curriculum as a starting point for the collaboration between CAC and TSC. Our partnership goal is for more communities worldwide to benefit from collaborative support from TSC’s sport and storytelling partnership model alongside CAC’s sustainable consultancy.

    The Sports Creative and Coaches Across Continents are proud to both be program partners of the Rexona Breaking Limits Programme, developed in partnership with Beyond Sport. Following our work on the Rexona BLP The Sports Creative and Coaches Across Continents recognized the potential value of a collaborative capacity-building model leading to this partneship.

    Psychologist and Board member of The Sports Creative, Dr Renée Pirkl said:

    “This new curriculum offers a powerful positive development path for youth, based on their goals, voices, and choices. To play safely and inclusively, be heard and valued, and have choices and agency through opportunities. These core experiences increase self-awareness, self-esteem, and social skills; learning problem-solving and collaboration; experiencing community and connection; and building compassion, purpose, and resilience.”

    Coaches Across Continents Board Member and Educator, Dr. Judith Gates said:

    “We are honored to be given the opportunity to work closely with The Sports Creative. Having known about their unique process for the past 2 years it is clear they offer a level of youth empowerment that has not been seen before in the sport for social change sector. The importance of highlighting the voices and choices of young people can not be underestimated in a world where youth increasingly feel powerless. We are excited to collaborate to enhance each others work.”

    About The Sports Creative

    The Sports Creative believe every young person should have access to the power of play in their community. They create community-led sports & arts programs for youth, supporting their physical, social, and emotional well-being. They believe in the power of sport, the importance of creativity, and the voices of young people. A key starting block is accepting that young people understand their own context and needs. This empowers youth with confidence, and supports them to identify viable goals in well-being, education, and their lives. Their programs contribute to multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

    About Coaches Across Continents

    Coaches Across Continents is the global leader in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to address the UN SDGs and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our two brands work at all levels, from advising governments and creating corporate social purpose to advancing community organizations, developing coaches, and educating young people. CAC Instruct develops coaches and educators to deliver Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom by providing On-Field training, child safeguarding, and curriculum.

  • CAC Launches Women Led Choice For Women

    Choice For Women, a specialized women-led organization working within Coaches Across Continents, was unveiled today. Choice For Women aims to equip girls and women with the tools to become global Active Citizens, achieve UN SDG 5.1, and create a more gender-equal world. By utilizing CAC’s extensive resources, Choice For Women will amplify the voices of girls and women, and empower women-centered organizations, corporations, and initiatives across the globe. 

    While Choice For Women is new, CAC’s work in this area is not. UN SDG 5.1 (to end discrimination against women and girls) has served as a target for CAC since its inception, and has inspired many initiatives over the years. CAC’s ASK for Choice Curriculum: Attitudes Skills and Knowledge for Choice, was designed in 2014 and has since been used by over 100 of our community-based partners. Our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) curriculum was created in 2019 as part of a nationwide initiative in Tanzania and is now used internationally. Additionally, the Step Up program, which focuses on career development for female professional athletes, is the first of its kind. Step Up provides athletes with the opportunity to gain vital work experience while developing their social voice with global impact! 

    In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, CAC serves many female educators and coaches, women-led organizations, and girl-focused groups. Choice For Women grew out of a need to consolidate all of CAC’s existing women’s-centered programming under one umbrella, and have a space solely dedicated to advancing the lives of women and girls that operates with the full thrust of CAC. 

    Thus, Choice For Women’s structure mirrors that of CAC, and is divided into four divisions: Influence, Innovate, Impact, and Instruct. Choice for Women Influence advises governments, confederations, global NGOs, policy makers, and key donors. Choice for Women Innovate creates Corporate Social Purpose and Cause Marketing legacies for corporations and foundations. Choice for Women Impact advances local organizations by delivering year-round sustainable, strategic resources. Choice for Women Instruct uses Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to develop women as leaders and educate young people through on-field activities and gender-sensitive curriculum. 

    If you would like to support Choice For Women, one opportunity is to participate in our live Auction and Raffle. Our esteemed auction item is a 1999 Women’s World Cup Ball signed by the championship-winning US Women’s National Team (including signatures from Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Brianna Scurry, Michelle Akers and Tracy Noonan). We are also raffling a mini-ball signed by the 2021 NWSL Champions: The Washington Spirit, led by Kelley O’Hara, Andi Sullivan, and Trinity Rodman. Bidding and raffle ticket sales close on December 13, 2021 at 11:59pm EST. 

     

    For all inquiries, please contact us at