• Slum Soccer Nagpur with Coaches Across Continents

    Nov 20th, 2012:  For the second week of the two -week program, Coaches Across Continents (CAC) worked alongside Slum Soccer in an initiative to train future soccer coaches and social leaders of the Nagpur community. In their first week, the senior coaches (local coaches involved in the CAC 2011 program) proved their coaching abilities while conducting a Rotary Soccer camp for kids of various ages.  They carried this added confidence with them into the following week where they were joined by 23 new local coaches.

    Working at the Slum Soccer “Center” the CAC team (Gina Wideroff, Brian Suskiewicz, and Jaren LaGreca) led both the senior coaches and new coaches through a curriculum focusing on local community needs including: general health and wellness, problem solving skills, female empowerment, HIV/AIDs prevention, and balanced nutrition. The second week provided an opportunity for the new coaches to learn the CAC curriculum while the senior coachesnot only reviewed the material, but also had their hand in training this next generation of new coaches. This was a particularly exciting and promising week in terms of the sustainability of the CAC implemented curriculum and the Slum Soccer organization.

    Throughout the week CAC and Slum Soccer also had the chance to work intimately in the surrounding Nagpur community. A training session was held at the local Koradi community where there was an enthusiastic and large turnout of boys but even more so, girls. It was promising to see that Slum Soccer had already reached out to young girls in this community. Training sessions were also held at two local orphanages, the Living Hope Center for Rescued Children and Grace Ministries. Soccer was a completely new sport to many of these kids; nonetheless, their eyes lit up at the sight of a soccer ball and the cheers of “Boom-shaka-laka.”

    The week also coincided with the Hindu celebration of Diwali, The Festival of Lights. The CAC coaches were treated and surprised by the enthusiasm for this event as firecrackers lit up the night sky and shook the walls of the guesthouse.

    Without a doubt, the two-week program in Nagpur was a success. The Slum Soccer organization demonstrated their appreciation for using soccer for social development; the coaches embraced the social messages within the CAC curriculum and were eager to demonstrate their abilities, as well as pass on their knowledge to future Slum Soccer coaches. CAC is looking forward to seeing the strides Slum Soccer makes in their organization and their community with a return trip in 2013.

  • Sophie joins the Coaches Across Continents On Field Team.

    Sophie on the field.

    Oct 19th, 2012:  Coaches Across Continents announces that Sophie Legros  will be the project leader in our new 2013 Monitoring and Evaluation program as well as working with our local community partners and coaches to design their adaptable ‘Football for Social Impact’ curriculum.  Sophie is a former Harvard University player who is currently playing professionally in France.

    Sophie has 4 years experience with Coaches Across Continents having worked in Malawi, Uganda, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Kenya.

    “We are absolutely delighted that Sophie will be a leader in our On Field team.  She is an incredibly intelligent, thoughtful and dedicated young woman who has worked with some of our more challenging community partners, including 3 years with former child soldiers in Uganda.  M and E is a very important part of measuring our impact and in the past 4 years she has played a key role in developing our WISER Monitoring and Evaluation system and building our Female Empowerment/Gender Equality module.”  Christian Aviza, Coaches Across Continents Board Member.

    Sophie has designed the 2013 Coaches Across Continents on-line education system and is working with our On Field Strategist, Brian Suskiewicz on our new ‘99 Game Hat-Trick Initiative /Chance to Choice Curriculum’.  She is also a key member of our Goal On Field Initiative.

  • Meet our Coaches Heading to Cameroon, Zimbabwe and India

    Meet Kevin Harrington

    Favorite soccer team: Arsenal
    Favorite player: Lionel Messi
    Favorite movie: Wedding Crashers
    Favorite food: Hamburger
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: In a co-ed league in 3rd grade, I was pushed off the ball by a girl on the other team and landed face-first in a pile of mud. I had to be pulled out of the game because I was so embarrassed that I refused to play anymore.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? I am really looking forward to learning about the culture and everyday lives of the people of Africa and to impacting their lives in such a positive manner.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I speak some Portuguese.

    Anything else you want us to put out in the blogosphere?  (i.e. quote/hopes/dreams/favorite color/astrology sign?) My favorite quote is “Every problem is an opportunity”. I first heard it from my grandfather years ago and my dad has repeated it to me hundreds of times over the years.

    I hope to some day develop my own start-up.

    Kevin will first be working in Cameroon with the African Volunteer Football Academy for the Less Privileged (AVFAL), United Action for Children (UAC) and then in Zimbabwe with Sport 4 Socialization and Bulldogs Sport Development.

    Meet Vas Giahos

    Favorite soccer team: Barcelona

    Favorite player: Ronaldinho (back in the day)

    Favorite movie: The Sandlot (although Wedding Crashers is a close 2nd)

    Favorite food: Pilafi (Greek rice)

    Euro 2012: Greece!! (2004??)

    My funniest moment on the soccer field was in a club game in high school when I was playing with a yellow card and blatantly fouled a kid. The ref subsequently went for his pocket and I simply saved him the time but walking off the field and toward the bench. The realm of play continued for a couple of minutes until my coach realized I wasn’t on the field and started screaming at me to get out there…apparently the ref didn’t actually give me a second yellow.

    As far as this trip is concerned, I am looking forward to seeing a different perspective on the world and life in general. I am really hoping to make some sort of impact on the lives of some of the individuals that I interact with, and of course I am looking to have a great time along the way.

    Interesting fact: I used to Greek dance competitively.

    Vas will be working in Cameroon with the African Volunteer Football Academy for the Less Privileged (AVFAL) United Action for Children (UAC) and in Zimbabwe with Sport 4 Socialization.

    Meet Jaren LaGreca
    Favorite soccer team: Manchester United
    Favorite player: Dani Alves
    Favorite movie: Fight Club
    Favorite food: Grandma LaGreca’s spaghetti
    Who will win Euro 2012? Not England
    Funniest moment on the soccer field:  Scary soccer with fellow Coaches Across Continents volunteer Marisa Brown at Demonstration Elementary School in Monrovia, Liberia.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Watching the faces of kids light up when we show up to play soccer with them.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I volunteered with Coaches Across Continents last year in Zambia, Ghana, and Liberia.

    Jaren will be working in India with Slum Soccer.

    Meet Christina Hagner
    Favorite soccer team: Well obviously Harvard Women’s Soccer…but Chelsea is pretty sweet too

    Favorite player: Fernando Torres
    Favorite movie: Tough call between Finding Nemo, Love Actually, and Gladiator
    Favorite food: Chocolate
    Who will win Euro 2012? SPAIN
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: my nickname on the Harvard team was “hags” (a spinoff from my last name).  Let’s just say some confusion was created whenever that last letter got left off…
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Seeing the impact I make; the smiles; getting to know the local community

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I can wiggle my ears

    Favorite quote #1: “Stay foolish…stay hungry” – Steve Jobs

    Favorite quote #2: “Shake and bake!” – Ricky Bobby

    Christina will be working in Cameroon with the African Volunteer Football Academy for the Less Privileged (AVFAL).

    Meet: Gina Wideroff

    Favorite player: Sophia Legros
    Favorite tv show: Seinfeld
    Favorite food: Fresh out of the oven homemade chocolate chip cookies
    Who will win Euro 2012? Italy
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Too many to recount, but here are a couple: We were playing BC, of course at BC, and Biz got stuck in a hard tackle, and although she was still on the ground, she  blocked the next shot with her neck. It was a bit concerning at the time, but in retrospect we get a good laugh about it because Lizzy never failed to live up to her name, Bizness. Another moment came at a captain’s toss; a less personable ref went in for the pound rather than the handshake to introduce himself, so my reaction was to turn his pound into a snail. I guess that could check the embarrassing moment question.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? All of the inherent experiences follow a Caucasian girl with a soccer ball at her foot in a foreign country. And trying to keep my GI tract in one piece.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: The most productive part of my day occurs when I’m sleepwalking.

    Anything else you want us to put out in the blogosphere?  (i.e. quote/hopes/dreams/favorite color/astrology sign?) The Miami Heat will be 2012 NBA champions

  • Meet the coaches heading to Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

    Meet Sophie Legros

    Favorite soccer team: Barcelona and the men and women’s French national teams.

    Favorite player: Zidane

    Favorite movie: I can’t list them all, so here are a few ‘5-star movies’: Se7en, Intouchables, Juno, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects, Gran Torino (and many, many more).

    Favorite food: I’m always looking forward to eating some chapati when I go to East Africa.

    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain

    Funniest moment on the soccer field: I wasn’t on the soccer field, but seeing a huge crowd of people rush the field of the Malawi national stadium to dance at the end of an international friendly game, get chased by the police, run away and come back again multiple times was pretty entertaining.

    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? I am really excited to go back to Uganda for the third year in a row and especially to work with Friends of Orphans in Pader and see some familiar faces.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: One of my grandmothers lives in a apartment tower – filled parisian suburb and the other lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

     Sophie will be working in Uganda with a first year program and then returning to work in Pader with Friends of Orphans (FRO).

    Meet Melanie Baskind
    Favorite soccer team: Harvard Women’s Soccer Team!
    Favorite player: Messi
    Favorite movie: The Big Green (close call over She’s the Man)
    Favorite food: Peanut Butter
    Who will win Euro 2012? Italy
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Whenever I head the ball…
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Making friends and learning some words in new languages

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I can do a Rubix cube!

    Melanie will be working in Zambia with Play Soccer and Zimbabwe with Sport 4 Socialization and Bulldogs Sports Development aswell as in Tanzania and Namibia.

    Meet Emmy Wheaton
    Favorite soccer team: Manchester United
    Favorite player: Wayne Rooney
    Favorite movie: Love Actually
    Favorite food: Mashed Potatoes
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Practicing diving headers after four days of rain
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Meeting all different types of people

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I did my freshman year of college when I was one year old

    Anything else you want us to put out in the blogosphere? (i.e. quote/hopes/dreams/favorite color/astrology sign?)
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” -Dr. Seuss

    Emmy will be traveling to work in Zambia with Play Soccer and Zimbabwe with Sport 4 Socialization and Bulldogs Sports Development.

  • Meet Our Coaches Heading to Kenya

    Meet Charlie Crawford

    Favorite soccer team:  Barcelona
    Favorite player:  Robin van Persie
    Favorite movie:  Legends of the Fall
    Favorite food:  Crabcakes
    Who will win Euro 2012?  The Netherlands!!!!
    Funniest moment on the soccer field:  Was once playing a small game involving keeping the ball in the air and volleying to each other to score on a single goalie.  After numerous taunts/quality shots I take a touch and somehow nail the ball directly into my own face, forcing me to take an abrupt seat in the dirt.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering?  Meeting different people
    Interesting fact(s) about you:  I lived in Netherlands for a while and maintain that it is one of the greatest countries I have ever seen.

    Charlie will be working in Kenya with the Society Empowerment Project, Kisumu Youth Soccer, Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) and possibly a fourth program.

    Meet Claudia Haeussler
    Favorite soccer team: Man U.
    Favorite player: Messi
    Favorite movie: Along Came Polly (anything with Jennifer Aniston in it)
    Favorite food: Crunchy salad, carrots
    Who will win Euro 2012? Switzerland
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Scoring on my own goal in 7th grade and sobbing after, thinking that I would be cut from the team.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? Exploring a new country… hopefully teaching others!

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I like Seaweed, I speak German

    Anything else you want us to put out in the blogosphere?  I hope to earn a doctorate in Physical Therapy in the near future.

    Claudia will be working with Kisumu Youth Soccer and with the Society Empowerment Project in Kenya.

    Meet Tyler Evans

    Favorite soccer team: Lazio
    Favorite player: Carles Puyol
    Favorite movie: The Longest Yard

    Favorite food: Spaghetti and meatballs
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: One of my teammates scored a goal and did the “dead fish” celebration
    Interesting fact(s) about you: I am an Eagle Scout

    Tyler will be working with Kisumu Youth Soccer and with the Society Empowerment Project in Kenya.

  • Meet the New Coaches

    Meet Addie Cartan
    Favorite soccer team:  Barcelona
    Favorite player: Messi
    Favorite movie:  The Wedding Date
    Favorite food:  Thai Food, Pad Thai
    Who will win Euro 2012?  Sweden
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering?  Meeting young soccer  players and helping them to become more confident as soccer players and as leaders.

    Interesting fact(s) about you:  Played four years of college soccer, am currently a sixth grade teacher in USA, enjoy cooking almost more then playing soccer

    Addie will be working alongside coaches Emily Lambert and Brian Suskiewicz in Liberia with Soccer Ambassadors for Christ.

    Meet Lauren Urke
    Favorite soccer team: Chelsea F.C.
    Favorite player: Messi
    Favorite movie: Despicable Me
    Favorite food: Dark Chocolate
    Who will win Euro 2012? Italy
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: Playing an inter-squad scrimmage for my high school      team   in a batman costume when we had practice on Halloween.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? I am looking forward to using a passion of my own to help others.  I want to get to know people from different walks of life to gain a better understanding of the world around me. Most of all, I want to improve the lives of those I am working with through meaningful relationships and experiences.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I am a twin in a family with two sets of twins (and I’m from the Twin Cities). I enjoy playing and teaching violin, reading, skiing, and spending time with my family and friends.

    Lauren will be working with two CAC partners in Uganda; Buwate Youth Sports Academy and Kampala School of Excellence Ministries.

    Meet Peyton Johnson
    Favorite soccer team: Arsenal FC
    Favorite player: Cesc Fabregas
    Favorite movie: Love Actually
    Favorite food: Chipotle Burrito Bowls
    Who will win Euro 2012? Spain
    Funniest moment on the soccer field: When I was dribbling the ball on a breakaway and a girl pulled down my shorts to my knees. Embarrassing and funny in hindsight.
    What you are most looking forward to with your volunteering? I’m looking forward to living in a totally new country and meeting all of the awesome local volunteers who are working to better their communities.

    Interesting fact(s) about you: I love peanut butter, and I can’t touch my toes.

    Peyton will also be working in Uganda with CAC partners Buwate Youth Sports Academy and Kampala School of Excellence Ministries.