• Where There’s Play There’s Beautiful Possibilities

    June 21st 2016. For the past two weeks CAC has been working with ChildFund Korea and Chevrolet FC in Incheon, South Korea to build a sustainable pathway for using sport as a social impact tool. This culminated in the unveiling of a new Chevrolet FC pitch by Manchester United legend Gary Bailey at the ChildFund Borame Center in Incheon.

    Throughout the two weeks CAC worked closely with ChildFund Korea, other local partners and coaches to ensure the new pitch could be used effectively over the coming months and years. ChildFund Korea provides safe spaces for children who have been physically and mentally abused. Teachers at the ChildFund Borame Center attended CAC training which focused on child rights, problem-solving and communication. During the two weeks we also traveled to Ulsan to work with the local ChildFund staff and help them use sport as a social impact tool. In addition, we engaged coaches from FC Incheon, a soccer academy working with many local children, and students from Incheon Universities Department of Sports and Exercise Science. Involving NGO’s, clubs and universities ensured a cross-sectoral deep impact which will reach children from various communities and backgrounds.

    In South Korea children of all ages are under intense pressure from families and institutions to succeed in school. We regularly heard stories of children going to school and studying for 15 hours a day simply to keep up with their classes. This has led to incredibly fast progress for the nation which is at the forefront of design and technology. A common term in Korea is ‘pali pali’ or faster (which contrasts with a common Swahili term ‘pole pole’ or slowly!). Unfortunately this pressure has also led to an increasing number of South Korean children committing suicide. Taking a break from their studies and simply enjoying sports and play is not always an option for South Korean children. The importance of encouraging participation in sports to challenge this culture can’t be underestimated. Where there’s play, there’s beautiful possibilities.

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  • 9 Times with Chevrolet FC

    June 17, 2016. Nine times. With respect to the classic line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Nine is now the number of life-altering pitches that Chevrolet FC has built in communities around the world, helping disadvantaged children to grow both socially and emotionally. Coaches Across Continents award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC just unveiled the latest community pitch, this time in Incheon, South Korea.  Despite the threat of rain, the weather held out allowing for dignitaries, Chevrolet Korea, CAC, and special guest and Manchester United legend Gary Bailey have full ceremonies and turn the pitch over to the Borame center and ChildFund Korea.

    This is a group that works, counsels, and houses children who have been abused, generally physically or emotionally. The power of play is now just outside their center, allowing for children to learn from our unique curriculum that is designed to educate children on issues such as Child Rights, Health & Wellness, and Conflict Prevention. As they play there children will grow both emotionally and socially.

    Coaches Across Continents is proud to work with community changing initiatives with Chevrolet FC, and this one is especially rewarding because of the recipients who will benefit the most from this sustainable initiative.

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  • Next Stop: South Africa – CAC and Chevrolet Take 3

    September 25th, 2014. Fresh off the plane from Cambodia, CAC Founder Nick Gates and Senior Staff member Nora Dooley returned to South Africa for our third program in partnership with Chevrolet. The first two took place earlier this year in Bandung, Indonesia, and Chicago, USA, whereas this one was run in a community called Hammanskraal, north of the capital city, Pretoria.

    For the first four days of this Chevrolet FC training our team worked in tandem with the South African Football Association (SAFA) who led a D-License course for the 37 ESSP (Extra Support Sport Program) leaders from 17 schools around the Hammanskraal area. This was an introductory level course into coaching football and had a particular focus on life skills. Naturally CAC took the reigns when it came to the On-Field instruction, training these leaders in how to use sport to educate children on important social issues and to develop crucial life skills.

    For the following five days our staff went deeper with the ESSP teachers and taught them a total of 47 games that they can use with their students. We worked through many different modules of our social impact curriculum including games from our standard Skills for Life, Conflict Resolution, Health & Wellness, and Gender Equity themes as well as those about Financial Literacy, Female Empowerment, and HIV behavior change.

    One game that had a particularly positive impact was renamed Hammanskraal Social Squares to best suit the needs of the group. In this game we divided the group into four teams and had them each stand in one square marked out at each corner of a larger square. We asked each group to think of the most challenging problem facing their community and they came up with poverty, unemployment, corruption, and teenage pregnancy. Then we played the game. When we shouted two of those words, the two teams representing those words had to switch places as fast as possible. Once they got the hang of the rules, we added more challenges such as a ball that every player had to touch before the team arrived at the new square. Then we asked the groups to come up with a new word. This time they had to think of one word that could be a solution to the problem they already thought of. The groups came up with job creation, education, new leadership, and good choices. To make the game more challenging we adjusted the rules so that the squares represented the solutions and the teams had to remember what each square signified. This was a great game for us to play early on in the training in order to start the important conversations about social issues in the community and beyond. The game led to some great discussions on topics such as education and how to beat corruption.

    On the final day of the training the coaches organized a festival for local students in order to complete their SAFA D-License. Without any instruction from our team on what games to play with the children, the coaches chose all CAC games and absolutely blew us away with the success of the day. After the festival players were telling us what they learned from the ESSP coaches and brought up lessons like how to avoid peer pressure, the importance of education, gender equality, and solving problems without violence. We were beyond impressed. The transformation that these 37 coaches – 22 women and 15 men – went through over the course of the 10 days was phenomenal.

    The final day of the program was the big event where everyone came together at one of the local schools for the big Chevrolet tournament. Manchester United legend Gary Bailey, a native of South Africa, joined the team as well as an all-star crew from our partners at One World Futbol Project (OWFP). The OWFP Founders revealed the donation of the 1,000,000th football in a very special ceremony. The day was a huge success with 17 girls teams from all the schools where our newly trained ESSP Social Impact coaches teach. They competed in small-sided games and the players who demonstrated the most positive attitudes and best sportsmanship were awarded with the opportunity to play in a final match with 2 players from every team.

    As the theme for the training was centered on Female Empowerment, this was an incredible way to end the program with so many girls enjoying the beautiful game and their 37 coaches (22 being women) supporting them through it all. We were also honored by the presence of a team of grandmothers called Rekone Gogos FC who train 6 days a week at a nearby field, coached by 2 of the male ESSP coaches. They were the best fans of all and added an extra layer of excitement to an already empowered program.

    Stay tuned to see what’s next for our partnership with Chevrolet and Manchester United.

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