• The Power of Acronyms

    May 16th, 2018. Coaches Across Continents Facilitator, Ashlyn Hardie, puts together a blog reflecting the incredible leadership and success of Community Impact Coach (CIC), Benny Marquis, and past Michael Johnson Young Leader, Jamie Tomkinson who recently lead a Coaches Across Continents training in Bangalore, India with CAC partner Parikrma Humanity Foundation.

    Stories like these are amazing. They are amazing because everything that Coaches Across Continents strives for is positive social change in the world – and not just for a moment, for a minute, for a year – but forever. Sustainable, positive change is why we do everything that we do here at CAC.

    So, why is this program so special? Why is this blog titled “The Power of Acronyms”? Let me explain….

    FIRST – Jamie Tomkinson was nominated by Coaches Across Continents to be a Michael Johnson Young Leader a couple years ago, and was selected! MJYL, our first acronym for this blog, is one of the most prestigious leadership training courses, and life-changing opportunities for young people all around the world. Jamie, once finishing the MJYL training, has continued to work with Coaches Across Continents (CAC – this one you should know) on multiple on-field programs over the past two years.

    NOW – Benny Marquis has been a CAC program participant in the past, but was just recently promoted to being a CAC Community Impact Coach! The CIC Initiative is designed by CAC to take stand out participants from our programs and further develop them with the Online Education Program (OEP) and On-Field professional development opportunities!

    AMAZING – So, back to sustainability. A couple of years ago CAC, nominated a kid to give him a chance for the MJYL program, and he thrived! He continued to travel, coach, and learn and has recently ran his own program, independently representing CAC with partner Parikrma, in Bangalore, India. Assisting him with this training is CIC, Benny, who is now able to apply all of his learnings from the OEP program on the ground. Not only this, but Jamie has connected CAC Partner Parikrma with his old sporting club, Spartans Academy, and they will be hosting a Girls Football Festival at the end of the month – so the good work keeps on going!

    Change is possible, and sustainable. People can make a difference, and their impact can grow. This story started with a teenage boy with a good heart, and now he is training community leaders around the world for the planets largest international sport for development non-profit.  This is what Coaches Across Continents is all about … ACRONYMS …. and sustainable development at its finest.

     

    Notes from Benny on the week: 

    “I learned a lot of leadership skills thanks to CAC and Jamie. I also learned how to modify the session in case of a larger group of students, and also how to use available resources – even if it is just a stone lying around – to conduct the session. Tough this was explained during the OEP in theory, I got my first hand experience at it this time on-field. I also got to learn more about two hour sessions, the number of games that can be included, and the kind of sport for education discussions that can be had.”

     

  • First Time Flying

    December 20th, 2017. Community Impact Coach and Online Education Program participant, Benedict, writes about his experience attending CAC trainings in India, developing as a coach in the OEP program, and traveling as a Community Impact Coach to Sri Lanka working with CAC partner Foundation of Goodness. 

    Little did I know, when I attended a training program in November 2016, with CAC that a few months later I would be given an opportunity to be a part of their Online Education Program. As thrilled as I was, I also was very anxious about the whole thing as I had no idea what the program was and the outcome of the program for me. All I knew was that I personally identified with the teaching methodology and the concept and that really excited me. As I started my journey with the Online Education Program I got to learn a lot, my teaching style changed the way I interacted with people – not only my players but even people of my community – and I started to feel more responsible towards society and youth. I had no idea that I would get an opportunity to go to other places or countries as a Community Impact Coach. When I was told about it, a little later after I started the OEP, I was thrilled beyond words as this is a major achievement for me and a dream come true. I always played sport and my community people considered me to be a failure when I didn’t get any employment opportunities through sports. It was at that time when I took it up as a challenge to prove that a lot can be achieved through sports. The opportunity that CAC has given me as a CIC empowers me to have so much pride in myself and in the work I do.

    When I received the mail about the sessions in other parts of India I was very excited and eager to join them. But it so happened that due to other commitments at work I was unable to be a part of it. I was really upset and felt very disheartened. I felt that my next chance to be a part of the training would be only next year until one night I received an e-mail from Mark that I would be going to Sri Lanka. At first I could not believe it! It took a while for it me to settle down. This was going to be my first flight experience and not just national but international….. I have always seen my colleagues who teach subjects like science, math etc travel to other countries on training and I always wanted to be the one to travel from sports for training as well. So when I saw my ticket, it was an unforgettable moment for me.

    Finally the time had come near and I got to meet Charlie, with whom I was to be traveling with. I worked with him for a week before we travelled and he gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I thought that we would have other coaches meet us directly at Sri Lanka but when I learned it was going to be just the 2 of us, I became really worried and nervous. That being said, Charlie made me feel very confident about myself. He gave me useful coaching tips and he gave me a lot of freedom to coach in my own style. This seldom happens in India we are expected to follow teaching methods of others and are not always allowed to be ourselves. He taught me how to maintain a journal of my daily activities and how to plan my sessions. This has all been very useful for me, and I have started implementing it in my regular schedules now, as well.

    Our Sri Lanka trip was not just all training and no fun… We had a lot of fun on the field and off the field. My off the field experiences are unbelievable as well. I accompanied a few volunteers from Foundation of Goodness when they went deep sea diving, though I didn’t go into the water myself just being in the middle of the ocean was an experience on its own. I felt like I was in a Bond movie doing one of the chasing scenes.

    This trip is a milestone in my carrier, I am using this as a tool to reach out to more people, both students and people in my community. I am putting to use everything that I have learned during this journey and I am looking forward to travelling on many more assignments. I want to thank CAC for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to learn from other communities as well. A special thanks to Markus for being a great instructor and a good support throughout the Online Education Program, and I’m happy that I came across a wonderful person like Charlie.

  • Online Education Program connects Coaches Across Continents

    February 24th, 2017. Online Education Strategist, Markus Bensch recaps last years OEP.

    In football there is a saying that when a team gets promoted to a higher league, the 2nd year is the toughest one. You must prove the quality of your team once the wave of excitement has faded.

    We faced a similar challenge as we entered into the 2nd edition of our Online Education Program (OEP). We started with a new group of participants in March 2016! There were 12 coaches from 4 different continents (Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe) that graduated in the 2015 class.

    We’ve introduced new technology tools such as hosting quarterly webinars and using an interactive feedback sheet. During the 9‑month program the coaches invested 200 hours on-field and off-field. The coaches implemented games with their teams, participated in 4 webinars throughout the course, shared their monthly feedback online, and entered games on Sport Session Planner (SSP).

    It is exciting to read that the coaches witness behavior change in their players when implementing Sport for Social Impact games! One story was shared with us by Paula, from Brazil, about the youth she works with: “In the group of teenager after playing human rights game, they began to speak more properly about the right to education and for the first time began to remind people in the community who have had their lives changed because of it as an example.”

    The participants went through three Self-Directed Learning (SDL) stages “Educate”, “Adapt” and “Create”, each lasting for 3 months. During the Educate stage the coaches receive a monthly curriculum to implement in their communities. During the Adapt and Create stage each of our 12 graduates developed and implemented 8 new games. In these 6 months each participant also implemented 8 games from other coaches and gave individual feedback.

    Lin from Kenya, now living and studying in the UK, reflected on her adapted game by stating: “Empathy grew as the players began to stop stigmatizing each other. They became less embarrassed and began speaking up about HIV/AIDS and how it is affecting their families and communities. They also understood that silence plays a BIG part in the spread of it.”

    We are very delighted that we now have almost 100 newly designed games available on our online platform SSP, ready to be implemented by coaches around the world. We have also included some of these games in the new CAC curriculum that will begin implementing during our on-field programs. The OEP is becoming a highly interactive program where coaches from different continents and cultures share knowledge, games, and experiences. The coaches have cultivated the skill of developing and designing FSI games, which are fun and educational. Reading the participants’ feedback you can see that they are very excited about their newly gained skills!

    Ryan, from GOALS Armenia commented: “I wanted to make games that that both teach soccer skills and life skills, which is really difficult. After researching and remembering different soccer exercises I was able to apply new rules and create social impact meaning behind that exercise’s technical objective!”

    There are certain challenges to the Online Education Program. Limited access to internet and technology has been the major reason for people not to be able to graduate. Although there are factors in place that make completion difficult for our participants, there are so many incredible success stories that rise from the program! Many participants go on to further schooling, rise to a new level of coaching, or have new found confidence in their ability to teach others. This is what OEP is all about!

  • VLC Launches with Great Success

    January 28, 2016.  Coaches Across Continents latest strategic resource launched with great success this past Tuesday.  The Virtual Learning Community (VLC) is a series of monthly webinars that focus on key topics and issues that will specifically benefit sport for social impact organizations and individuals all over the world.  The first webinar, which was offered at two different times during the day to accommodate our partners across all time zones, had participants from five continents: South America, North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Though our partnerships, over 500,000 children will be impacted from the increased knowledge, organizational development, and sport for social impact education provided through our partner organizations and coaches.

    The Virtual Learning Community is hosted by CAC on the Edudip platform.  This allows for group interaction of hundreds of participants at any one time, including video interface, presentation displays, and whiteboard capabilities.  In addition, during the inaugural VLC webinar CAC took the opportunity to release two new short documentaries.  These world premier video shorts outline our Hat-Trick Initiative and our Chance to Choice partnership pathways.  The webinar wrapped up with a Question and Answer session that greatly outweighed our expectations with dozens of questions on individuals and groups looking to increase their knowledge.  Most notably three new groups expressed strong interest in our ASK for Chance pathway which is part of our commitment to action through the Clinton Global Initiative as well as personal inquiries into our Community Impact Coach Program and our Online Education Program.

    At Coaches Across Continents we focus all our partnerships on developing unique pathways, using our strategic resources.  The goal is to mentor community partners in organizational development and sport for social impact education.  The VLC is a tremendous tool that will allow us to increase both the scope of our reach as well as improve the depth of each partnership.  With strong joint communication, our partnerships will develop 365 days a year, impacting hundreds of thousands of children’s lives through tens of thousands of coaches in our 30+ countries.  We are building a true network among sport for development organizations.

    In the coming weeks and months, the VLC will continue to expand to include interested sport for development organizations in places where we have not yet been able to operate due to safety reasons such as groups that are operating in conflict zones or war-torn areas.  It will also allow us to serve organizations who, due to financial constraints, we have not officially partnered with as the demand for CAC partnerships far outweighs our capacity.  Presently we have requests from nearly 400 organizations in 85 countries to work with CAC as a full Hat-Trick Initiative partner.

    The VLC joins other CAC strategic resources such as our year-round mentorship, CIC program, Online Education Program, curriculum development, On-Field training, joint funding opportunities, and much more.  Each community partner now has the ability to create their own unique pathway from our strategic resources to best serve the needs of their own organization and community.  For more information on the VLC, please email us at

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    Coaches Across Continents’ Virtual Learning Community will impact hundreds of thousands of children around the world!