• #BuiltToPlay with ESPN in Sydney

    February 28th 2019. We are delighted to announce our collaboration with ESPN/Disney, and other incredible partners in Sydney, Australia as part of their global Built to Play project.

    Today, Coaches Across Continents were delighted to be present at the official opening of a new, multifunctional sports space in Mount Druitt, Sydney, Australia. The first of its kind that ESPN/Disney has done in Sydney and the eighth Built to Play project globally. The space, built by community volunteers and ESPN and Disney employees, is designed to provide a safe place to play for the surrounding community, as well as offer ongoing programming using the power of sports to educate young people on key local issues. The event included music, special cultural performances, and a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a showcase of the programming that will occur onsite. The project is led by ESPN and The Walt Disney Company, in collaboration with Education Outside the Classroom organizations, love.futbol, Coaches Across Continents and PCYC Mt Druitt.

    CAC is proud to be a part of this ESPN/Disney #BuiltToPlay initiative that brings a Love.Fútbol safe space and CAC’s Purposeful Play to PCYC Mt. Druitt to benefit tens of thousands of children and their families for years to come. – Brian Suskiewicz, Chief Executive, CAC

    As well as showcasing CAC’s work during the inauguration, our Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz will be running a Purposeful Play training program for PCYC coaches, teachers and community leaders over the next 3 days on the new pitches. We will then work closely with the PCYC to implement programming around key social topics identified by them over the next 10 months. Topics include community re-integration, gender equality, conflict prevention, health and substance abuse. The project will also include opportunities for ESPN employees in Sydney to engage with the PCYC, CAC and the community initiative throughout 2019.

    Because of #BuiltToPlay we have the potential ability to further develop our programming regarding youth guidance in education, safety, and core values to another level. – Lance Chaloner, Senior Club Manager at PCYC Mt. Druitt

  • It’s Your Turn

    August 17th, 2018. Global Citizen, Rosa Morales, writes about her experience working with ANERA and their team of Life Skills Trainers throughout Lebanon. 

    “It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.”  – Dina Nayeri

    Despite the image that western media attempts to portray, Lebanon is a country filled with diversity, where people, both old and new, coexist happily with their various religions and communities. With approximately seven million people inhabiting the small country, a long history of civil conflict, and the current refugee situation, Lebanon has a diverse history that isn’t quite like any other country. This rich history has even misled Americans into believing that Lebanon is dangerous and that tourists should refrain from traveling outside of Beirut, the capital. However, after traveling throughout the country’s many historical cities and meeting a tremendous variety of incredible people, I beg to differ.

    Working with ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid), a nonprofit that continues to “help refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose,” has opened my eyes to the situations that millions of people suffer from every single day. Coming from a privileged family, I have not had to worry about not getting an education, not being able to attain good health care nor clean water, or even be discriminated against in a community and country that you were forced to escape to. However, after spending eight days in this stunning country filled with such bright and beautiful people, I have come to the realization that we, the privileged, have to stop acting like these battles aren’t also battles of our own.

    ANERA, throughout Lebanon, from north to south, east to west, continuously provides safe havens for youth and teachers to go to in order to develop knowledge on their life skills, health and wellness, and overall rehabilitation in a foreign country with the help of Coaches Across Continents. Alongside this, they have connected thousands of Palestinian refugees to reliable sources of water, helped youth return to continue their education, as well as, renovating important structures, buildings, and organizations in their communities.

    Though, the real question is: When will YOU do something?

    People are always talking about wanting to do better for others, to see others achieve great successes, and practicing selflessness. However, they have not taken the initiative to actually do so. If you are in a position of privilege, it is important to realize that you have the ability to change a tremendous amount of people’s lives. In the greater scheme of things, the quote “help your neighbor” becomes incredibly prevalent. Your neighbors, peers, teammates, coworkers may all be undergoing some type of stressful situation that you could potentially help with. If you hear calls for help, whether they are subtle or more obvious, be there for them.

    ANERA and CAC have both contributed to this cause, but when is it going to be your turn?

    After spending a total of three weeks abroad, attempting to use sport for social impact in a variety of communities, I have broadened my knowledge and witnessed those who fight wars much harder than any battle I have had to face in my lifetime. There are people who are surviving off of nothing, when I have been living, thriving with objects that these same people may yearn for but may never see. It is time to give back to those who have faced enough hatred, trauma, and discrimination for the rest of us. Thus, I encourage you to lend out a helping hand for human kind and change the world one day at a time.

  • An Interview With A CAC Participant

    February 18th 2016. A Q & A with Francisco Ramon Longoria Pacheca, a participant in the recent CAC training in Nogales, Mexico with FESAC.

    Q: How did you come to hear about the Coaches Across Continents training in Nogales?

    Francisco: I’m around this area a lot. I play basketball on the courts just behind the soccer field; I coach over there every now and then too. I don’t play soccer, but I saw you guys out here and thought the course looked interesting. Other coaches from FESAC encouraged me to join so I did.

    Q: You said you do some basketball coaching, who do you coach and for what team?

    Francisco: Well, I’m not a coach in the traditional sense. Basketball is my passion, so if I see a game going on at one of the courts I join in and play a bit while giving pointers and tips to the kids. Here in Mexico we have a lot of talented young basketball players, but they go without good coaching for so long that they develop bad habits.

    Q: Have you found this training useful as a basketball coach?

    Francisco: This training has helped me be more aware of myself and it’s certainly helped me become a better sportsman and person. A lot of the games we played could easily work as basketball games too.

    Q: Which game would you say is your favorite?

    Francisco: All the child rights games! If I had to choose, I think I would go with the [Right to] Information game. To be successful your team has to work together, focus and pay close attention. The game is a fun way to develop intelligence.

    Q: What about the child rights games did you enjoy? Why is this an important issue for Mexico?

    Francisco: I think one of the most important things we talked about this week was the creation of safe spaces for children. Without these how can we expect children to develop into the adults they want to be? Adults also need to be conscious about giving children private space, as this also helps with their development. I really like the idea of people and families working together and coexisting together. When this happens we are able to use everyone’s skills to solve our own problems. These lessons are not just important for Mexico, but for the whole world.

    Q: Thanks for your time Francisco, do you have any other thoughts on your week with Coaches Across Continents?

    Francisco: Thank you for this opportunity, this has been so much fun. Sports is life, man.

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  • CAC and TYSA – From a CIC

    May 7, 2014. Charles Otieno Sisia (Oti) from long-time CAC partner, Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) in Nairobi, joins CAC programs for his second year as a Community Impact Coach. He writes about his week with Trans-Nzoia Youth Sports Association (TYSA) where he joined CAC staff member, Nora Dooley, for a week in Kitale, Kenya.

    Oti leads participants in the ever-favorite Mingle MIngle

    Oti leads participants in the ever-favorite Coaches Across Continents game Mingle Mingle

    Another great year at TYSA. This was the second year that CAC worked with the partner organization based in Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya.

    TYSA organized a one week camp with more than a hundred participants and half of them participated in the CAC training from Monday 28th April to Friday 2nd May at Makutano Secondary School.

    Over the training Nora Dooley, an experienced and motivated CAC coach, led the on-field and off-field sessions assisted by myself, Charles Otieno Sisia, as I was selected for the second year as a CAC Community Impact Coach (CIC). Before the start the participants highlighted the issues they face in Trans-Nzoia and what they would like to learn from CAC. Some of the issues included child labor, neglect, early marriage, lack of education, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of career opportunities, negative peer pressure, and malnutrition. A major part of the week was spent playing games that focused on leadership, voice, education, identifying and creating safe spaces, and complete health and wellness.

    Protect your body from germs - Hygiene Tag!

    Protect your body from germs – Hygiene Tag!

    Off-field sessions were held in the school hall where the participants took notes and asked questions about the sessions that they were now able to teach.

    The participants gained more confidence, voice, and leadership skills after playing the Circle of Friends, doing the skills of Wilshere and Marta, and also they got an opportunity to teach back what they had learned to the younger participants, and clearly deliver social impact messages.

    The participants declared to fight for their rights and child rights, and to protect and never abuse children. This was the bill of rights and child protection session with Coach Nora.

    Gazza Safe Spaces Tag was one of the best games talking about space spaces when home was not a safe space for everyone. Women empowerment activities were superb with girls now having a voice to ask for their rights and room in sporting activities, careers and other opportunities. Health games also worked well for both genders and participants were able to talk about their bodies during Hygiene Tag.

    The participants graduated and have now joined us to educate more people on football for social impact by teaching the CAC sessions.

    Scary Soccer getting pretty scary! Oti stays cool

    Scary Soccer getting pretty scary! Oti stays cool working with Coaches Across Continents