• Going The Extra Mile to Combat COVID-19

    We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Bloomberg Extra Mile in China and Japan. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic Bloomberg’s Square Mile Relays, held in cities around the world, were canceled for 2020. Instead they have switched to virtual races and challenges with a portion of the money raised going to local charities in each location as part of The Extra Mile initiative. Coaches Across Continents, working with local partners, is The Extra Mile partner in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.

    We will be using our adaptable COVID-19 curricula to address physical activity, disease prevention, and mental-well-being in each city. CAC will train local coaches and leaders in using the curricula and cover topics of relevance to their communities. Following this training the local coaches in each city will deliver year-round programming in schools and communities with at-risk youth. This programming will ideally be in-person but is adaptable to online if required by national guidelines.

    We also currently work with Bloomberg Extra Mile and Football United in Sydney. In addition CAC has previously delivered Extra Mile programming in Beijing and Tokyo. We are honored to be supported by Bloomberg to address COVID-19 in multiple countries.

  • CAC & Football United Going The Extra Mile

    March 20th 2020. Although the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Sydney has been postponed for 2020 the race runners are still selecting an Extra Mile program to support in 2020. This week they are selecting one of three ’causes’ to support that have a specific focus on public health with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 3 causes are mental health, physical activity and healthy living including hygiene. This program, once selected, will be delivered by CAC partner Football United, supported by CAC. We are disappointed to not be able to be on the ground in Sydney during this fun event but are delighted Bloomberg are still going The Extra Mile with Football United and CAC again in 2020.

    This is our 3rd consecutive year working with Bloomberg as The Extra Mile partner in Sydney. Over the past 12 months the Football United program has effectively delivered school based programs which promote social inclusion and community cohesion, as selected by the 2019 race runners. We have also worked with Bloomberg on this initiative in Tokyo in 2018 and Beijing in 2019.

  • The Rose That Grew From Concrete

    December 14th, 2017. Self-Directed Learning Educator, Mark Gabriel, writes about his personal reflections from the week on-field in Hpa an, Myanmar with Football United

    The Rose That Grew From Concrete  named accredited to Tupac Amaru Shakur

    My friend’s dad once told me, “You never know the impact you have on people. Something you do now could impact them forever. You won’t know it and maybe even they won’t know it. Just live it, be it, and have faith.” These words have helped me understand my role as a Self-Directed Learning Coach and Process Consultant with CAC. I do this work because I believe that, by empowering community leaders to challenge the status quo and ask themselves, “Why do I believe what I believe?”, they are able to be the master of their ways. To make sure that any changes in mentality and behavior come from within the community, we as CAC only stay in each location for one week (and continue the year-round partnership from afar). I have oftentimes been asked if I really think anything can happen in just one week On-Field. My answer — yes. This approach allows for the community leaders to be the catalysts of change rather than looking at us to be. The only thing is… if there is change, I probably won’t see it. Change takes time, and that goes for anything. If you want to lose weight, or learn how to meditate, it takes time. And those changes only have to do with you! Imagine when it involves an entire community. Or an entire culture and belief system. Yea… it can take a while.
    But we are not here to be the change. We are not here to see the change. We are here to spark the change. As a Self-Directed Learning Coach, we constantly challenge ourselves and our participants to self-reflect. This in and of itself can be life-changing for many (it sure has been for me). Questioning oneself, one’s beliefs, one’s culture, one’s existence, is not a frequented practice, but yet its power is incomparable. Each program is unique in its own right, as are the participants. However, the impact of having them ask themselves the “Why?” behind aspects of their life stays consistent. Many a time, it is a first for participants to do such a practice.

    This week in Hpa-An, it felt much the same. Our participants ranged from players to students to coaches to wannabe coaches, and all were confident in their culture and how life goes in Hpa-An. As they should be! Who knows life in Hpa-An better than them? But once we challenged to think about life itself, and not just in the context of their home, the gears began to spin. Having them question when to award a team a point (do you award the team that finishes first or the team that does it right? Why?), the importance of competition, who can/cannot play sports, what are the differences between man and woman; these questions transcend any cultural norms but find people answer through their own perspective, influenced by their upbringing. Even as a facilitator of these programs, I still find myself falling back to my own culture to paint a picture of the world. Each program I lead, I find myself being challenged more and more to break my tainted perception. This shows us how much our nurture impacts our views on the world. Such realizations and the following inter-personal reflections are what will lead to change.

    As of right now, what will become of Football United in Hpa-An is a bit unclear as it is in the beginning stages. It would be easy to be discouraged by the lack of “impact” when looking at sheer numbers of trainings, numbers of coaches, number of players worked with, etc. But impact is much more than these quantitative measures. If our training led to one participant challenging her or hisself, the potential impact is limitless. Maybe I won’t be the change, or see the change, but maybe I hear of the change. One day.

    Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.”

    — Tupac Amaru Shakur