X-cellent X-SUBA (Jinja, Uganda)
July 13, 2019. CAC’s Jamie Tomkinson (and Michael Johnson Young Leader) is leading programs this month in East Africa. Follow along as he implements Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom in Uganda and Kenya.
X-SUBA is in their first year of partnership with CAC, and as such our first visit has everyone full of enthusiasm. During the programme we adapted many traditional CAC games to use hands rather than feet, as most of the coaches were from a netball or basketball background. They were thankful for this and it has helped them see how they can use CAC curriculum more in their day to day sessions. From the start, we developed a coach personal development policy which brought up some really good discussions about self-reflection and improving our own practice. Throughout the week we focused on coaching guidelines, feedback during practice coaching sessions, and learning how to use CAC’s Workplace platform to continue developing throughout the year. We also had a great session on creating and adapting games and it’s fantastic to hear that X-SUBA will be delivering these in their own communities in the near future!
My personal highlight was during one of CAC’s environment games addressing UNSDG#13: Climate Action called “Pick up and Get Clean.” Once all the cones etc had been picked up, they then stated running around the field collecting actual trash from all over. While this was no doubt down to competitiveness, we used this demonstrate the impact this game can have and provide and enthusiasm to kids to ‘pick up and get clean’. Everyone was running around collecting trash, we then referenced this back to our own lives and how often do we daily walk past rubbish and not pick it up because it ‘isn’t our job’, when in fact, it’s everyone’s job. We then collected all the trash and put it in a nearby rubbish bin! #WhatsYourLegacy?
A total of 30 participants had their first experience of Purposeful Play and will now go onto to deliver Education Outside of the Classroom to 1.5k in the beautiful town of Jinja, Uganda.
All-Star team impacts Bangladeshi and Rohingya
This past month CAC headlined phase two of our Bangladesh initiative as the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the Asian Football Confederation. Along with professional coaches from the English FA, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz delivered coaching education and Football Fun Festivals in three locations in Bangladesh, including the Kutapalong Rohingya Refugee camp, home to nearly 1,000,000 individuals including 500,000 children.
“We are using football to ensure and protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable individuals, children in refugee camps and underserved Bangladeshi children throughout the country.” – Brian Suskiewicz, CAC CEO
This initiative provides grassroots coaching expertise to both Bangladeshi and Rohingya coaches, aligning with CAC’s new Community Empowerment to Ensure Human Rights Guiding Principles, which were released on World Refugee Day. In addition to the aforementioned refugee camp, training sites included the town of Cox’s Bazar and the Bangladesh Football Federation House in the capital, Dhaka.
Along with Alena Moulton, Kevin Coleman, Taff Rahman, and Anwar Uddin, the CAC/English FA team educated 174 coaches who will impact 21,390 children, while also hosting three Football Fun Festivals around the country. This is the second phase, concluding the first year of the initiative. Further plans will continue the partnership well into 2020. Other partners include the Jaago Foundation and the UNHCR in Bangladesh. Of special note, the Jaago Foundation had 50+% female participation during this initiative, which was the first time over 90% of them had played football!
For further information, please read the project overview from December, 2018 or contact CAC at .
Beginning in Bangladesh
December 10, 2018. Dhaka, Bangladesh. This past week we implemented programming through our partnership with the Asian Football Confederation. We are in Dhaka, the capital of the 8thmost populous country in the world. In addition to the AFC, we are also working with the Bangladesh Football Federation and the Jaago Foundation (UNSDG17: Partnerships for the Goals). Our work will benefit thousands of underprivileged children throughout Bangladesh by empowering Jaago volunteers to use CAC’s Education Outside the Classroom methodology and curriculum.
We believe, football (sports) is the one of the most powerful tools to bring a positive impact for any nation. This is something, which represents youth, energy & friendship all together. – Jaago Foundation
With a strong background in classroom education and extracurricular activities for disadvantaged children, the Jaago Foundation is a natural partner. 42 volunteers came to Dhaka from across the country, and we implemented a curriculum that will address UNSDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being and UNSDG #4: Quality Education; while also implementing a strong program to address Safeguarding Children in Sport. This is especially relevant, especially after our global work last month for Universal Children’s Day.
“I am a passionate traveler, I often go to rural areas in Bangladesh to teach tribal children. They don’t speak Bengali but through football I connect. Now, I can teach them health and lifestyle through CAC games as football is a global language.” – Rafat (Kazi): Jaago, Dhaka.
Stay tuned next week as our AFC/BFF partnership will bring us into the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, home of over 900,000 refugees including half a million children under the age of 17.
#BeAChampionForChildren: Universal Children’s Day
We at Coaches Across Continents applaud all our partners who joined with us, and with UNICEF, to champion the rights of children on the recent Universal Children’s Day (November 20th).
Initially Coaches Across Continents invited partners to begin creating a Child Protection Policy unique to their community. Over 100 partner groups responded.
Together we raised global awareness of the need to safeguard children in 105+ countries on 6 continents.
Partners were asked to identify the form of child abuse they most wanted to change within their community. Physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse were identified and next steps considered.
Key issues emerged. These recognised that abuse is often a taken for granted cultural habit, as well as being an abuse of power. Respect for young people was thought to be crucial, while bullying should be avoided.
Partners who had created a Child Protection Policy asked CAC for curriculum games and online education. CAC distributed a curriculum packet of five games which addressed the four different forms of child abuse, as well as showing how to prevent child abuse in the future.
Stories flooded in showing the many CAC games that had been played around the world on Universal Children’s Day.
Additionally CAC invited partners to download and use UNICEF’s International Safeguards for Children in Sport, where CAC was a pioneering member.
Together we all lived up to the hashtag #BeAChampionForChildren, knowing that by protecting children we were advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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.
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