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.
#CAC10: Celebrating Our 1st Decade
August 31, 2018. Founder Nick Gates reflects on a decade of CAC.
It seems just like yesterday when Coaches Across Continents came to life. I was on a local bus in East Africa when I had the idea on how to best support local communities. A lot has changed since our first and only program in 2008 in rural Kigoma, Tanzania. We started as a traditional, ‘train the trainer’ model, but we have evolved to provide year-round process consultancy to organizations in more than 56 countries. We have 3 key partnership pathways and 28 strategic resources for corporations, communities, governments, and foundations to implement our Education Outside the Classroom and create legacies of social change.
Coaches Across Continents has become the global leader in Education Outside the Classroom. Our published Self-Directed Learning methodology and Chance to Choice and ASK for Choice curriculum pathways has been requested by organizations in nearly 100 countries and impacts over 16 million children annually.
In the past decade our innovative programs, partnerships, and projects have been recognized with 25 major global awards. Currently we are shortlisted for Beyond Sport’s Global Impact of the Year Award with the winner announced in New York City on September 12th.
Our Corporate and Foundation Legacy Program Designs, Develops, and Implements specific CSR and Cause Marketing Initiatives, with successful CSR projects in 23 countries including Olympic and World Cup Legacies, while our Government and Community Legacy Program uses our 28 strategic resources and creates Education Outside the Classroom to address 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Organizations such as the Asian Football Confederation have named Coaches Across Continents their Social Responsibility Partner, while corporations like Nike, Chevrolet, Bloomberg, Standard Chartered Bank, and more have used CAC to bring their CSR initiatives to life. And foundations like the Michael Johnson Young Leaders Program rely on CAC to help implement their vision to create and educate dynamic young leaders around the world.
Over the past decade we have worked with over 430 different community organizations, including 12 of the FIFA Football for Hope Centers and nearly 50 different Street Football World partners. Through partnership with CAC, they have gone through organizational transformation and development using our strategic resources to best deliver Education Outside the Classroom in their communities. This year seven of our partners are also shortlisted for various Beyond Sport Awards.
Our success is only possible because of hundreds of committed individuals. I would like to thank our Board of Directors, Business Advisory Team, ASK for Choice Advisory Team, and Coach Advisory Team. We also want to give a special thanks to all our global citizens and supporters, our Community Impact Coaches, all our donors, our videographer Kevin O’Donovan, and the Taiji Brand Group for helping us create sustainable legacies all over the world.
This month, we celebrate our ten-year anniversary under the campaign #CAC10. It’s been a decade of excellence.
Founder and Global Strategist
Video: The Impact of our Chevrolet FC Partnership in Indonesia
May 23, 2014. Coaches Across Continents has teamed up with Chevrolet FC to revitalize pitches and provide coaching education to selected communities around the world. This past month we completed a ten-day training with Rumah Cemara in Bandung, Indonesia. Coaches Across Continents has developed and delivered a curriculum that addresses the problem of stigma against people with HIV/AIDS, as well as addressing the fundamental causes of this disease. Together our three organizations are making a real difference in lives. Check out the video for more!
Football Skills for Life
At Coaches Across Continents we recognize the correlation between football and life. Our curriculum harnesses the power of football to teach lessons spanning a broad spectrum of social issues. In order to address these social issues in a productive, forward-thinking manner, there are certain life skills that we believe we all need to tap into. These are the baseline skills, the fundamentals, the abilities that translate naturally from our lives on the football field into our lives in our community. They include verbal and nonverbal communication, concentration, teamwork, confidence, awareness, and other capabilities that can and should manifest in our everyday lives. These also include hygiene, employability, literacy, financial literacy, child rights, among other everyday necessities that we cover in our curriculum.
All social skills can come to the surface on the traditional football pitch, but we bring them to life in all of our games, using our unique coaching methods that stimulate social impact. The first of these games that any CAC partner program will play is Ronaldo Skills for Life. In this game we have three fun skills involving scissors, fakes, and step-overs that the players learn while shouting out at each turn, “Ronaldo 1!” or “Ronaldo 2!” or “Ronaldo 3!”. The same goes for each of our players from Marta and Messi to Rapinoe and Wilshere.
When we coach Skills for Life games, one of the most essential aspects of our methodology is the slow progression. We often ask our participants whether we all learn at the same pace, and understanding that we do not, in school, on the field, or elsewhere, is a crucial step in working with children. We start these techniques slowly, without the ball, then we add a touch or two, then we build up to dribbling, and in this manner we not only build muscle memory and improve our footwork, but we work on concentration – for our voice must match our feet – spatial awareness – for we do not dribble or walk or run with our head down – confidence – for we share our voices with our teammates loud and proud – and readiness – for we only work on skills in a circular setting.
All over the world community leaders have learned these football techniques, so valuable when competing on the pitch, and paired with life techniques, so valuable when taken into the context of our lives. One of the principal upshots of our Skills for Life module, that then pervades the rest of our curriculum, is the ability to use one’s voice. Whether calling for the ball or shouting out “Ronaldo 1” every time we do the first Ronaldo skill, the power of the voice transcends the boundaries of the football field. We have taught these games to partners in Northern Uganda, where former child soldiers are being reintegrated into society after facing the horrors of the LRA. Afraid to speak for fear of being physically or sexually abused, their voices were stifled. Our games, our coaches, help them reclaim their voice, their confidence, their ability to make their own choices in life.
Our Monitoring & Evaluation tells us that 98% of our participants can now teach young people through soccer to find creative solutions to their problems rather than asking for the answer, up from 27% before our program.
Football for Health & Wellness
We can all agree that being active and playing sports is an incredibly healthy decision for our physical well-being. More and more people are beginning to understand how important a role sports can also play in improving our emotional well-being. CAC uses football to teach both of these messages. We also use football games to educate our participants, who then educate the youth they work with, on how to stay healthy, to practice good hygiene, to think about the food and fluids they put into their bodies, and to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
At the most fundamental level we teach Health & Wellness games in order to get the heart pounding, the lungs gasping for air, the muscles aching, the sweat pouring forth. One such game is Marta for Health & Wellness. In this game there are cones scattered about in a space with about 3-4 yards between each one. We will have two groups in this game – one group will work, the other will rest. Each will go for 30 seconds and in that time they have to get to as many cones as possible doing different movements at each one. For example, the first round they might touch the cone with their hand igniting more of a speed and changing direction challenge. Then they might jump over the cone with two feet – over and back – before they move on to another cone. Then maybe one foot, then the other. There are all sorts of variations to this game, but they all have the same purpose – get to work!
Either after we finish, or between each exercise, we ask the participants how they feel. We see what information we can pull out of them, not as a test, but to help them understand why it is important to think about exercising in ways that extend beyond becoming better footballers. We ask pointed questions, as we do not want to lecture but, rather, to encourage the participants to think for themselves. In this manner our discussions about health and wellness become locally relevant and we learn about the various cultural factors that influence our ability to stay healthy, in body and in mind.
These Health & Wellness games lay a strong foundation for us to build from when going more in-depth with topics such as nutrition and sexual health. One of our long-time partners, Whizzkids United, has the most comprehensive HIV education program that we have encountered in our work. Their new Football for Hope Center is at their office next to the hospital they partner with in Edendale, a community outside of Durban, South Africa. This relationship allows them to not only educate about HIV/AIDS but to also incorporate HIV testing and counseling, and thorough, long-term follow-up care into their programs. It is small-scale, but it is big impact. Our role in this partnership is helping Whizzkids capitalize on their charge of the Football for Hope Center. Their coaches learn all of our games with particular attention paid to our HIV module. These games embody the messages about sexual health meaning whatever happens during the game is what shapes the discussion.
Our Monitoring & Evaluation shows that before our program only 29% of our participants could teach young people how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS using a football game, whereas after a CAC training, that number jumps to 93%.
Football for Conflict Resolution
Solve your problem; CAC words to live by. The underlying message behind such a simple instruction is that you are looking for an answer; I will not give you one, so find it yourself.
Coaches Across Continents works in some of the most conflict-ridden communities in the world. Our Conflict Resolution games work to confront issues in places such as Sierra Leone where many of our participants are amputees as a result of civil war. An integral part of this module is social inclusion as we work to combat discrimination and solve problems in a peaceful, inclusive manner.
These messages comes to life in many of our games, but they is especially magnified in the Conflict Resolution aspect of our curriculum. In these games more than any others we separate the football for social impact coaches from the football coaches. The best way to explain is with an example. In the game Wilshere for Conflict Resolution there are five cones creating a pentagon. Behind each cone is a line of anywhere from 1 to 4 players but should not be more than 4. The only rule in this game is that players must pass the ball to one line and run to a different line, or in other words, they cannot follow their pass. What usually happens next is a moment of calm, and then many mistakes. Passes will be sloppy, players will take multiple touches before making their mind up, they will forget the only rule, and once they stop doing that, they will pass to the line with only one person in it, meaning it will then become empty. This is what we want.
This one rule forces players to think before they make decisions, and the conflict is inevitable. Our goal in this type of game is to provoke that conflict, and then we say, solve your problem! The players will often look first to the coach for answers because so many societies have ingrained that sense of dependency on authority figures such as teachers and coaches – but not here. They look to us, we say solve your problem, and then what? Magic happens. The players strategize, they start communicating – verbally and non-verbally – they get into a rhythm, quality of passing improves, fewer touches are needed, and they are working as a team. To make it more difficult we can add another ball, we can limit touches to 2 or even 1, and we can give them an objective to reach a certain number of passes without a mistake, or to play for one minute without a mistake. If there is a mistake, we ask, who suffers in football if a player gets a red card? The same goes for this game, if one player makes a mistake, we all pay the price.
At our level in coaching football for social impact these types of games are invaluable. They enable players to think for themselves and find solutions to their own problems, individually and as a team. These skills are important for all of us, and this manner of coaching is crucial for coaches to adopt if we want the next generation to be one of free-thinking self-directed learners. Ultimately these self-directed learners will be able to apply their critical thinking skills to all aspects of their lives. The local coaches and young players will be able to create solutions to whatever problems exist in their communities, the countries, and the world. They will not look to outsiders or to the West for solutions, they will look to themselves. When given the opportunity, when given the chance, children will surprise us all – in a game that has one problem, they will find infinite solutions, and in life when faced with important choices, they will make the right ones.
Extensive Monitoring & Evaluation has given our team some insight into the work we do regarding conflict resolution and social inclusion. Before our program only 19% of participants knew how to use football to teach young people how best to resolve conflict, and afterward, 99% have the skill set to do just that.