Child Rights, Child Protection – #ItStartsWithYou.
November 2nd, 2018. Coaches Across Continents ASK for Choice Advisory Team Member, Dr. Judith Gates writes on her work with CAC and UNICEF for Universal Children’s Day on November 20th, as well as our ongoing partnership for Child Rights and Child Protection around the world.
Coaches Across Continents works around the globe. According to our latest count, we have worked in 55 countries on 6 continents. Our unique footprint of deep involvement in local communities gives us an unprecedented perception of the level and scope of the abuse of child rights around the world. This leads to our clear, unvarnished recognition of the urgent need internationally for child protection policies and actions.
Within communities and within sporting environments we have heard and seen so many examples of child abuse. We have learned that wider traditional community norms invariably influence behaviour on the sports field.
At national federation level a gymnastics doctor was convicted of sexual assault of more than 100 girls. English professional football has been inundated by a wave of allegations of sex abuse.
However the victims are now beginning to speak out. A highly respected Coaches Across Continents team member was a victim of sexual abuse by her coach during her teens. And the abuse is not just happening at the international, national, professional or ‘elite athlete’ level in sport. It is happening in local communities around the world, large and small; local communities where sport is played for fun, local communities who use sport for social development.
A girl child in rural Tanzania is sold for sex. The payment is a bag of rice. A coach touches a team member inappropriately. He relies on his power to buy silence. Boy children attend a madrassa and are coerced into taking part in oral sex. And, horrific though sexual abuse is, physical, verbal and emotional abuse also leave a lasting negative impression on the hearts and minds of young people globally. We at CAC see it all.
That is why, several years ago, CAC responded promptly to an invitation from UNICEF to work with them to create a set of International Safeguards for Children in Sport. We ask you to download this for help in creating your own child protection policy.
CAC continues to contribute in many ways to the development of child protection policies, locally as well as internationally, on the sports field and within the community. We support our partners to create community based as well as sports based policies to protect their children. We all share the collective responsibility to protect children from abuse. You as well as us.
Therefore we ask all our partners to join with us to safeguard children.
Together we can make a difference.
Global Leaders: Soccerex and Coaches Across Continents Sign Official Partnership
Soccerex, the Global Leader for the Business of Soccer and Coaches Across Continents (CAC), the Global Leaders in Creating Legacies have signed a unique partnership agreement for CAC to be the Official Charity Partner of Soccerex.
Over the last 20 years, Soccerex has brought the world of football together to network in a unique commercial environment. From hosting industry leading networking events across the globe to expert market insight campaigns, Soccerex provides a platform to connect businesses with the game’s key stakeholders.
This November, Soccerex will take their proven industry platform to Miami where they will host Soccerex USA at Miami’s iconic Marlins Park on 15-16 November in partnership with key market stakeholders such as Concacaf, MLS and La Liga. Coaches Across Continents will be exhibiting at the event and be part of an expected attendance of over 1400 senior industry professionals.
Coaches Across Continents has been Creating Soccer Legacies by partnering with corporations, foundations, governments, and community-based organizations in 56 countries on 6 continents, impacting 16 million children. Successful corporate client partnerships include Nike, Chevrolet, Standard Chartered Bank, Postobón, Bloomberg, New Balance, and more. CAC was recognized last week with the Beyond Sport Global Impact of the Year Award.
“We are delighted to work closely with Soccerex to offer Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause Marketing partnership opportunities for their network of soccer partners. It is an exciting opportunity to use soccer to have real social impact around the world.” – Nick Gates, Founder and Global Strategist, Coaches Across Continents.
“Soccerex unites the different commercial elements of the game but it is also an important opportunity to showcase soccer’s power to promote social change. This partnership with Coaches Across Continents will allow us to offer real expertise in this field to our delegates” – David Wright, Marketing Director, Soccerex
About Soccerex USA
Soccerex USA is sponsored by the London Football Exchange, the world’s first fully integrated soccer club stock exchange and marketplace, and hosted in partnership with General American Capital Partners. The two day event will take place at Miami’s iconic Marlins Park and will comprise an exhibition showcasing the latest soccer business, performance and technology innovations.
Soccerex USA will include a programme of structured and informal networking events to connect delegates from across the USA and the rest of the world and it will feature a market leading conference agenda, with international experts tackling topics such as league expansion, women’s soccer, youth development, eSports, stadia technology, investment and new commercial opportunities.
For more information on Soccerex USA please go to www.soccerex.com/usa.
The Beyond Sport Awards: #WhatsYourLegacy?
September 10, 2018. Coaches Across Continents is looking forward to the Beyond Sport Awards in NYC on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. For the second consecutive year, CAC is shortlisted for the Global Impact of the Year Award, this year with our #WhatsYourLegacy? campaign. Overall there were 355 separate applications from over 100 countries on 6 continents for 10 categories of awards.
Over 25% of the finalists at this year’s Beyond Sport Awards are CAC partners!
Coaches Across Continents’ #WhatsYourLegacy? impacts over 16 million children in 56 countries on 6 continents through our three primary initiatives: 1. Corporation and Foundation Legacy Program; 2. Government and Community Legacy Program; and 3. Curriculum Legacy Program. All of these initiatives look to create Legacies of Social Change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It is symbolic that in our tenth year, in the month that we celebrate our ten-year anniversary with #CAC10, we are being recognized for our impact on the sport for social impact field. Just last week, Founder Nick Gates wrote about his thoughts from working in a small town in Kigoma, Tanzania in 2008 to what is being accomplished daily through our year-round partnerships and 28 strategic resources. Coaches Across Continents was recognized 9 years ago by Beyond Sport with the Best New Project which helped to launch CAC on our road to success. This followed with Corporate of the Year with Chevrolet in 2014 as well as 22 other major global awards.
Nick is joined at the awards by ASK for Choice Strategist, Nora Dooley and Sustainability Strategist, Adam Burgess. The Awards may very well feel like a reunion of sorts, as the influence of CAC partnerships will be seen throughout. Nick, Nora, and Adam will be very busy meeting our partners who were also shortlisted and meeting some other new faces. CAC directly partners with 7 of the 35 finalists in the main categories. There are also two separate categories where CAC partners are recognized. 2 of the 5 young leaders nominated for the Courageous Use of Sport Award and 2 of the 3 finalists for Sport for Refugees Award are CAC partners.
Thursday, after the awards ceremony is the Beyond Sport United Conference. Nora will be the expert on a panel on how sport specifically can support young people in being socially responsible and active.
Not to be outdone by all the activity in NYC, 12 time zones away, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz is in Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Football (AFC) Confederation Social Responsibility Conference and Dream Asia awards, occurring on the same two days. As the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents is responsible for presenting at activities such as this one to share knowledge and best practices with their 47 member institutions as well as other organizations looking to use sport to create social change in Asia.
I Will Be Strong!
July 28, 2018. Board member Dr. Judith Gates is with our team, back in Kigoma, Tanzania where we held our first-ever program ten years ago. #CAC10. #WhatsYourLegacy?
“I Will Be Strong!”
These were the final words I heard amidst all of the goodbyes, exchange of email addresses and chatter about selfie photo ops that invariably mark the end of a Coaches Across Continents programme. Teachers and coaches were jostling with each other and sharing plans as to how they were going to put all they had learned that week into practice. The group of students, identifiable by their green uniforms, were talking enthusiastically about new insights gained.
She came up to me. Tall and athletically built, she unexpectedly hugged me, kissed my cheek and said, “Thank you. I will be strong!”
My spirits soared. I understood what she was saying. I knew what she meant.
This week’s programme was to mark the 10th anniversary of Coaches Across Continents. Ten years ago the very first CAC programme was held in Kigoma, Tanzania. CAC had returned to mark this important anniversary. It all began here. From one programme in one country in 2008, CAC is now working in over 50 countries around the world.
All week, with Nick working alongside Nico as leader, the group had focussed on the challenging issue of Child Rights and Child Protection. Curriculum activities had included games in which participants had identified sources of potential harm, recognised the varying forms of abuse, identified who could be of help and which places could be considered safe. They had explored attitudes and expectations relevant to their local community. Teachers and students had shared ideas together during the games, but also worked separately to discuss factors which were specifically relevant to their age group or profession. They had then talked with each and demonstrated their capacity for understanding differing points of view.
I had led a discussion on abuse. I asked which form of abuse, physical, emotional, verbal or sexual, was most prevalent in their community. Hesitation was minimal. The vast majority of both teachers and students cited sexual abuse. Teenage pregnancies were high. Girls were forced to marry at an early age. Hunger and poverty led to girls being sold, or selling themselves, sometimes for only a bag of rice. The boundary between Child Rights and Women’s Rights blurred as they explored the reality of life for young girls in their community.
I asked teachers and students, each in their separate group, to think about what could be done, how things could improve. Acknowledging the problem openly was seen as key. The students suggested media reporting, government intervention. Their message was clear. We deserve support and help. Children should not have to experience these things. Teachers suggested education and parental involvement. Both groups wanted answers and action. The aspiration of the girl students was to complete their education and find a job, so that their subsequent life decisions were made from a position of relative strength.
The final words I shared with them were about personal responsibility. We can turn to others to make the changes we want, but we each have the capacity to influence in some way the context in which we live. I asked them to be strong. I asked them to contribute to the changes they hoped for.
I told them they each could be part of the solution, they each could contribute to making Kigoma an even better community.
And she had heard me. Her final words were of latent power, of commitment, of hope. “I will be strong!” That is the message CAC endeavours to leave behind, hoping that it will take root and contribute to locally desired community changes around the world. Another first for Kigoma!
~ Dr. Judith Gates
Thank You CAC: Humbling Words From a Pemba Participant
May 18th 2016. This blog comes to us from the words of a participant (Hassan) in his speech to CAC staff and guests during the certificate ceremony in Pemba, in partnership with the Zanzibar Football Association, the Ministry of Sports, and Save the Children.
Honorable Minister of Sports, Assistant Minister of Sports, Our coaches Mr. Nick and Madam Nora:
First of all we would like to thank all of you for conducting good, well and enjoyable training for one week. Apart from that we make a promise in front of you that we will protect children and we will stand in front of any who struggle for their rights.
We have special thanks to you for your cooperation during training and general speaking we can’t deny that we enjoy your tactics, techniques, and your innovation. You have bring us in a safe space and now we will use your knowledge and experience we get from you and impart it to our children.
Uncountable thanks should be received to the first coach in the world, Mr. Nicky, for organizing us and make us to feel free all over the time during the training. Throughout the training we learned that:
- Women can do well in sports if they will be supported
- We understand that children have knowledge
- We learn that we should give our children choice
- We learn that we ought to talk with children and not talk to children
Frankly speaking we have learned a lot and we will use all them for social impacts.
Special thanks I send it as my reward to Madam Nora – for teaching us Kuku dance, a lot we may forget… but never Kuku dance.
We have nothing to give our coaches for excellent work they have done to us except to tell them: Thank you very much for what you have done and we will use knowledge for social impacts.
Thanks; Goodbye; See you again; Relax and have a safe journey.
Organizational Transformation in Hawthorne
Our partnership with Chevrolet FC recently opened a new futsal facility in Hawthorne, California. Located in the center of town and under the supervision of the Hawthorne Police and the Parks and Recreation Department, this facility has an opportunity to create a new dynamic within the community. Throughout the United States, too often news is being made between conflict between the police and its citizens. As part of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, communities should have the opportunity to engage with local law enforcement; participate in meetings, surveys, and other activities as well as participate in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life.
One such initiative is the new soccer fields in Hawthorne. They now serve as a safe space for police officers and the communities to come together and learn from each other. For the past two weeks, Coaches Across Continents has been working with the Hawthorne Police, the local school system, and local businesses such as SpaceX so that the community leaders have the skills necessary to engage children and community members on the soccer fields to create positive relationships.
Even though the courts are only a few days old, several success stories are already emerging. One is concerning a young local girl who has had a few negative interactions with the police. One evening, a local police officer took it upon himself to stop by her house to invite her and her brothers to the new soccer fields. On opening night, she was one of the first people onto the court, playing with other children and engaging in a positive manner with the local police and other community members. It is positive interactions such as this that will help to create strong working relationships so that in future there are not difficulties between the police and the community. The safe space created by Chevrolet FC is helping this community undergo positive transformation and to hopefully serve as a model for other communities to follow.
In the coming weeks and months, we expect to hear dozens more such stories, as well as see the transformation happening within the community from both police officers and community members. We will continue to keep you updated on this great story from our continuing corporate partnership.