• Empowering Leaders Globally

    March 22, 2019.  CAC has helped to develop and empower 22,000+ community leaders over the past decade.  Our investment in creating leaders goes far beyond our On-Field Purposeful Play: Creating Education Outside the Classroom trainings.   Professional Development is a key component of our strategy, which is best highlighted through three of our year-round strategic resources: Global Networking, Community Impact Coach Initiative, and Global Leadership Courses.  Engaging in our year-round strategic resources is necessary for to be accredited by CAC in Purposeful Play.

    Global Networking: Recently we invited five local leaders from CAC’s network from Jordan, Lebanon, and India to join Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz at the EMPOWER Conference in Doha, Qatar.  They assisted in delivering two workshops and one On-Field coaching education in Purposeful Play to some of the 650 participants attending the conference from 50 countries.  The focus of the conference was the role of youth as agents and catalysts for peace and dialogue for sustainable development.  The full CAC team was Chief Exec Brian and SDL Educator Jamie Tomkinson, along with Benny Marcus (Parikrma Foundation, India), Tejas Ramakrishna (Sparky Football, India), Jaspreet Kaur (YFC Rurka Kalan, India), Rose Abou Elias (Arcenciel, Lebanon), and Wala’a Abu Shihab (Reclaim Childhood, Jordan). The team was recognized for their efforts on stage by the EMPOWER Conference at the conclusion of the event.  CAC continues to look for professional development opportunities, like this conference, to benefit the most promising leaders in our network.

    Global Leadership Courses: CAC currently is an implementing partner with the MJYL Program that just accepted it’s fourth class of leaders.  CAC is instrumental in assisting Michael Johnson in selecting promising young leaders from around the world and developing them over the course of the year both at Michael’s high performance training center in Dallas as well as throughout the year through CAC’s 28 year-round strategic resources as they implement their own legacy projects to impact their communities.  In fact, one former MJYL, Jamie Tomkinson, recently joined the CAC senior staff full-time based on his growth and development over the past several years.  CAC is exploring being able to provide other similar initiatives to give even more opportunities like this one to promising leaders on a continental and global scale.

    Community Impact Coach Initiative: Our CIC Initiative is the most widely known strategic resource that CAC offers to promising leaders each year.  We provide opportunities for coaches in 25+ countries to join and travel with the CAC staff each year as we deliver Purposeful Play On-Field Education in other communities.  This provides for intense professional development and learning, cultural exchange between individuals and communities, and giving our host communities multiple voices and perspectives to implementing Purposeful Play.  For many CICs, this is the first time they have flown on an airplane, traveled internationally, or even seen parts of their own countries.

    Investment: CAC already invests a great deal in leaders to implement Purposeful Play and impact communities and countries around the world.  With a strong corporate or foundation partner – our efforts could be magnified immensely.  And for just a small individual donation, you can empower a young leader globally which will benefit the hundreds and thousands of children they work with directly and through their community organization. #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • CAC, Hofstra, Soccer, and Pelé

    IMG_9421April 13, 2014. Another weekend, another speaking event for CAC Chief Executive Strategist, Brian Suskiewicz. A return home of sorts, Brian spoke at the “Soccer As The Beautiful Game” conference at Hofstra University in New York. Before CAC Brian was Associate Head Coach for the Hofstra Men’s Soccer Team from 2004 to 2009, winning three CAA titles during those five years. To say Brian was happy to return is an understatement, but throw a football legend into the mix and words fall short of expressing our delight in participating in this event.

    Brian has a chance to share a few words with Pele

    Brian has a chance to share a few words with legendary footballer and global icon Pele

    One of the big activities of the weekend, aside from gathering the all-stars of the sport for development field, was to give Pelé, THE Pelé, an honorary degree from Hofstra. His ties to the university go back to his days as a player as the NY Cosmos used to train at Hofstra in the 1970s.  Pelé also spoke at the conference, noting that coming to play for the NY Cosmos “was the best thing in my life.  It was the best decision to come to play in the United States.”  He also noted that soccer is “the biggest family in the world.”  Brian was honored to have a few moments to speak with Pelé and thank him for inspiring generations of footballers all over the world.  A full video of his 5-minute speech on Friday evening can be found here.

    Besides his brief meeting with the global icon, Brian spoke on two panels during this first ever event at his old stomping ground. The first focused on “Football, Pedagogy, and Integration,” and Brian capitalized on this opportunity to detail our philosophy of self-directed learning. Brian partook in this panel with other academics in the field, sharing ideas on how soccer can change the world, creating self-directed learners based on Dr. Judith Gates’ Chance to Choice educational theory.

    The second panel shifted attentions to “Empowerment, Social Integration, and Soccer”, moving from the theoretical to the practical. Many familiar faces joined Brian as he spoke about our work on the field in more than twenty-five countries around the world. Friends and partners of CAC who also participated include Mary McVeigh from Soccer Without Borders – who we are working with in Uganda this month! – as well as representatives from streetfootballworld, Love Futbol, and America Scores.  The interested crowd asked dozens of questions varying from implementation practices to supporting global charities.

    We are proud to be part of events like this, honored to be among such stellar figures in our field of not only international development but also international football – nice to meet you Pelé! Moreover, we are proud because we are the global leaders in sport for social impact and these platforms allow us to spread awareness for what we do with the incredible local organizations we are so grateful to call our partners.

  • Football for Female Empowerment

    Why is it important for girls to play sports? This is a question we ask all of our participants, all over the world. Our female empowerment initiative here at CAC is all-inclusive… meaning we hold ourselves to higher standards than we hold the rest of the world. Our team is made up of at least 60% female coaches, and we do not accept partner programs that do not include women in their activities. It is important to understand, however, that gender equity is the ultimate goal. Yet, so often we hear the phrase, “she doesn’t play like a girl.” What does this mean? How do we move away from this type of mentality that so generalizes and devalues female potential?

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    The need for female empowerment on a global scale is urgent. We recognize that need and in response, allow it to permeate throughout our organization on and off the field. On-field, aside from leading programs with female senior staff and the most female-empowering men you’ve ever met, we have injected it into our curriculum. Every player has a Gender Equity game. An example of one of these games is Messi for Gender Equity. This game addresses violence with particular attention to violence against women and girls.

    In order to bring these issues to the forefront we play a game with variations that point to specific topics. In the first round there are the taggers that represent different forms of violence – physical, emotional, verbal, sexual – that chase the others around a box that represents their community. If tagged, the player has to freeze with one hand covering their mouth, signifying the inability to speak. We will stop and have a brief discussion about that round and how difficult it was for the players being chased. We will ask who in their community can help put an end to violence against females and those answers will elicit a ball. The footballs can be passed among the players being chased, representing members of the community that can help prevent violence and also assist those that have been victims of violence. The players in possession of a ball are safe, and those that are frozen can be freed if a ball passes through their legs. The final round of this game allows the frozen players to call for help, demonstrating that an act of violence did not take away their voice.

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    Messi for Gender Equity is a terrific game of tag that incorporates the ball and captures the essence of violence – the affects, how to stop it, how to help each other, how to help ourselves. The game embodies the message, and the details come through in the discussions, which, as always, vary as the culture varies. A group of sixty middle-aged men in the toughest neighborhood of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Cité Soleil, Haiti, is going to have a different discussion from a group of twenty teenage girls in downtown Mumbai, India.

    With this game, and many others, an obvious target is the voice. A massive part in all that we do, the voice is the most powerful tool that we can use to make our own decisions in life, to make our own choices. Every person, young or old, female or male, is entitled to a voice and a choice, and we work to empower them to claim those rights.

    Our Monitoring & Evaluation shows us that participants who know how to use football to give young girls a voice and to have confidence to make personal choices jumps from 17% before to 96% after a CAC training.

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  • International Women’s Day is Approaching!

    1240558_515175748565176_1430260826_nMarch 3, 2014. International Women’s Day is just around the corner on March 8th and Coaches Across Continents is supporting it in full force. Inspiring change is the theme for International Women’s Day this year, and people around the world will be celebrating social, political, and economic achievements of women while focusing on further promoting women and girls everywhere.

    All of CAC’s partners will be participating on March 8th, highlighting an important female figure in each of their respective communities or countries that they feel have made an impact in their everyday lives.  This past year women throughout the world have been making waves, and Women’s Day is a time to celebrate and to shout out loud that women have the right to equality.

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    CAC partners have many monumental moments from 2013 that they can highlight on March 8th. This past year has been an inspiring year for women including events like the phenomenal speech that Malala made at the United Nations, and the mass crowds and supporters standing up in India and around the world to raise awareness and stop rape. Women and girls across the globe fight everyday to be treated equally in society, and March 8th is just another day to be heard, and to show girls they deserve the chance to become anything they choose.

    Many CAC partners will be playing female empowerment games this year and hosting tournaments for the young girls and women in their communities. GOALS Haiti will be hosting their second Women’s Day tournament this year while also hosting a boys tournament to incorporate both genders and have an even playing ground. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for pictures and stories that we will be sharing from our partners’ Women’s Day events.

    And look out for CAC’s Official Documentary of 2014 being released this Women’s Day. A beautiful video capturing our partnership with Slum Soccer of Nagpur India, it also fittingly highlights some incredible young women changing the game in their community.

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