• Coaches Across Continents Launches Global Day of Play

    Coaches Across Continents is excited to launch the first-ever Global Day of Play on the 27th of August 2021 – an annual celebration on the positive impact of play.

    This year we want individuals, organisations and communities who believe in the importance of play to take the #PledgeToPlayEveryday HERE!

    On the 27th of August we are asking communities and organisations to join us by holding an hour of safe, fun and inclusive play with people in your community. Please tag us @coachesacross on social media with the hashtag #PledgeToPlayEveryday.

    Research has shown that young people are playing less and one of the main barriers to children and young people participating in play is a lack of time. Play is often seen as ‘silly’ and ‘non-educational’ but as Albert Einstein once said “Play is the highest form of research” and is vital in cognitive, emotional and physical development.

    Organisations all over the world have already signed up and are excited to celebrate on the day. Organisations from 29 countries, out of CAC’s global network spanning 132 countries, have already taken the pledge. Groups participating range from an Australian Rules football team in Edinburgh, UK to Kusewara (which means PLAY in the Chichewa language) in Malawi.

    One example is training4changeS in Stellenbosch, South Africa. International Director Daniel Thomae said “we believe Purposeful Play helps children grow as self-directed learners. For the upcoming Global Day of Play on 27th of August our futsal academy players will design and lead play sessions with their peers. We’re excited to see what these young leaders come up with.”

    Jaspreet Kaur from YFC Rurka Kalan in Punjab, India tells us that “at YFC Rurka Kalan, we believe young people are the backbone of society and providing play based activities is crucial to their health and well-being. We are thrilled to be a part of the first Global Day of Play on August 27th and are celebrating with our whole community, including the schools, with lots of different activities and dancing!”

    We are also delighted to have generous support from leaders in the sport for social change sector including the Aspen Institute, Beyond Sport, Laureus Sport for Good, Michael Johnson Young Leaders, REMS Brazil, Sportanddev, and streetfootballworld who will all be engaging their global networks.

    Together we can work together to raise awareness of the importance of play and #PledgeToPlayEveryday

    To get involved please contact [email protected]coachesacrosscontinents.org. Thank you for promoting play!
  • Indochina Starfish Foundation of Cambodia Accredited by Coaches Across Continents

    Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) is a Cambodian charity with over 13 years of experience using education and sport to change lives.  In Cambodia, less than 5% of youth will finish high school. The poverty many children live in not only strips them of their childhood but it also means that they miss out on an education and vital life skills that are taught through peer interaction and play. Through their Education Programme, Football Programme and Community Development Projects ISF is supporting those most in need to build a brighter future.

    CAC has worked alongside ISF staff, coaches and young leaders since 2013. We have seen first-hand their growth when it comes to integrating play-based activities with key social and educational learning methodologies. Many ISF coaches have joined the CAC team over the years to facilitate Purposeful Play trainings for other leaders in communities beyond the ISF home in Phnom Penh. And after several years of learning and evolving together in partnership we are delighted to present ISF as a CAC accredited organization in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Thank you ISF for your partnership and we look forward to many more years of playing and learning with you!
  • Niñas Sin Miedo: the first CAC Accredited Organization of 2021

    Based in Soacha and Bogotá, Colombia, Niñas Sin Miedo (NSM) is a female-led organization serving girls and young women from underserved communities. Using the bicycle as their central tool, they provide opportunities for girls to learn and express their voices, their ideas and their power. They focus on supporting the girls to address specific challenges and issues like sexual and reproductive health and rights, and they provide endless opportunities for the girls to play and take ownership of their learning and development.

    We have partnered with NSM since 2017 and it has been a privilege to witness and support their evolution. They are one of the most socially-conscious organizations in the world and our global network has the honor of learning and sharing with these incredible women. One of the NSM coordinators was a Michael Johnson Young Leader in 2018 and then later traveled alongside CAC to deliver on-field Education Outside the Classroom trainings all over Colombia.

    On this International Women’s Day 2021, there are few groups who embody the #ChooseToChallenge theme like Niñas Sin Miedo. We are thrilled to announce Niñas Sin Miedo as an accredited organization in using Purposeful Play to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  • A Haven of Hope

    CAC India Team Leader Jamie and Community Impact Coach Benny have been working in rural communities near the city of Pune this week, with Maher – an NGO that provides shelter to underserved women, children and men across the Indian state of Maharashtra. 

    Maher means ‘Mothers Home’ in Marathi; a place of belonging, understanding and acceptance. For over 20 years, Maher has opened their doors and provided shelter for many of those in need – providing a place to sleep, eat and live while also sending them to school. Currently, they provide a place to call home for 960 children, 170 women and 60 older men. They heard about CAC through our Accredited partner Slum Soccer and wanted to learn about #PurposefulPlay and how it could benefit their children. To tie in with Maher’s core values of acceptance and education, we delivered a programme focused on UNSDGs: 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

    Our programme was split into two parts – in the mornings we would travel to one of Maher’s other homes in very rural areas, and deliver some fun #EducationOutsideTheClassroom sessions to children and women who had never experienced #PurposefulPlay before. These were introductory sessions that we had a lot of fun with – this new style of learning was greatly enjoyed and each time we left they would ask when they could play more games! At CAC, Sustainability is at the core of everything we do – so to ensure long term impact we always work with the teachers, coaches and in this case social workers to provide them the skills so that these kids can continue learning and having fun, even after we’ve left.

    This is where our evening sessions come into the picture, where we worked with around 30 social workers on topics that they felt were most relevant to them. Gender Equality (#UNSDG5) and Reduced Inequalities (#UNSDG10) came up often, so we played many games from our #ASKforChoice curriculum. These social workers had also discussed these topics with the children, but had never considered that using sport was possible and the best way to engage them in difficult conversations.

    It was a very successful programme with Maher, now enthused about #EducationOutsideTheClassroom and already inviting us back! My personal highlight is that we managed to involve some of the older orphaned children in the programme, one young man at the end said ‘everyone has always told me I can’t do stuff, but CAC told me I can and encouraged me’. Sustainability has many forms, and supporting someone to find some self-belief so that they can continue believing in their self, is sustainability that matters.

  • Sign Soccer

    You don’t realise how much you take your voice for granted, until you can’t use it.

    The CAC team have been in Nagpur, India this last week working with long time ally and partner – Slum Soccer. This is a partnership that is 8 years in the making, with many successful programmes delivered together. Due to the nature and frequency that we visit Slum Soccer, we wanted to do something different this time and really expand on what #PurposefulPlay means, by delivering a programme centred around #UNSDG10: Reduced Inequalities – specifically focusing on the inclusion of those who are deaf and mute.

    Slum Soccer have recently started an initiative called ‘DeafKidz Goal!’ and will work with over 200 deaf children and young adults during this programme. India has one of the highest populations of deaf people in the world – Nagpur alone has over 6000 deaf children. Slum Soccer has seen that these young people were being held back and wanted to take action, calling in the assistance of CAC.

    We had 4 deaf and mute coaches on the programme who were incredibly fun to work with – their energy and smiles made delivering the sessions a joy! However, aside from demonstrations, coaches who are able most often use their voice as the main way of communicating and relying solely on this wouldn’t work as we would be excluding some of our group. Whilst we had a brilliant Sign Language interpreter, we wanted to make sure they felt as included as possible – to do this we: played some games in silence and introduced different signs, instead of shouting for the ball we used hand waves, we all learnt how to sign good morning so we could do it together and when we had discussions we would always take time to allow everyone to input and share their thoughts. The coaches who were deaf and mute mentioned throughout the week that they were very happy and thankful and that their favourite sign throughout the week was that we always came to the field with a smile.

    And a smile is the most universal sign there is.

  • From Jakarta TuBaba

    Over the next 3 weeks, the CAC team are working in collaboration with Uni Papua – an Indonesian partner for over 6 years. Last week we were in the community of TuBaBa, a short one hour flight from the metropolis of Jakarta, TuBaBa is a quiet and rural community on the island of Sumatra. During our five day Education Outside the Classroom program, we used #PurposefulPlay to engage with 80 children and 30 teachers, where we in particular focused on UNSDG #10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’. The Indonesian government also outlawed Child Marriage whilst we were there, making the legal age limit for marriage 19 – a fantastic step forward and one that has been long overdue.

    Our program in TuBaBa consisted of two parts – the first was working with the teachers, where we played games from our ASK for Choice curriculum to not only discuss how we could reduce inequalities as a whole but also to talk about gender discrimination. A highlight from one of the conversations was that some men in the group were saying women can’t/shouldn’t play football. One of the female participants said to the group that this was an ‘ancient and outdated’ idea and we need to move forward with the times. This was powerful as it must have taken great courage to stand up in front of people with differing opinions and share your own beliefs, which are not the current norm in her community.

    The second part of the program was with the 80 children and young people – this gave Community Impact Coaches, Chester (Phillipines) and Frans (Indonesia) an opportunity to lead and run their own program with the support of CAC staff members. The valuable experience they gained from this benefit them greatly over the next 3/4 weeks as we continue traveling and running Education Outside the Classroom programs across Indonesia. Reducing Inequalities also comes in many forms, and one form is the inability to access sport due to financial restrictions and costs. This was a free, high-quality and most importantly fun program for these children, many of whom come from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds.

    To round off our week we met with the leader of the Department of Education, Budiman Jaya, who was very impressed with CAC and will now look to continue to support and roll out these types of programs across the Sumatran Island.