• The Beyond Sport Awards: #WhatsYourLegacy?

    September 10, 2018. Coaches Across Continents is looking forward to the Beyond Sport Awards in NYC on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.  For the second consecutive year, CAC is shortlisted for the Global Impact of the Year Award, this year with our #WhatsYourLegacy? campaign. Overall there were 355 separate applications from over 100 countries on 6 continents for 10 categories of awards.

    Over 25% of the finalists at this year’s Beyond Sport Awards are CAC partners!

    Coaches Across Continents#WhatsYourLegacy? impacts over 16 million children in 56 countries on 6 continents through our three primary initiatives: 1. Corporation and Foundation Legacy Program; 2. Government and Community Legacy Program; and 3. Curriculum Legacy Program.  All of these initiatives look to create Legacies of Social Change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    It is symbolic that in our tenth year, in the month that we celebrate our ten-year anniversary with #CAC10, we are being recognized for our impact on the sport for social impact field.  Just last week, Founder Nick Gates wrote about his thoughts from working in a small town in Kigoma, Tanzania in 2008 to what is being accomplished daily through our year-round partnerships and 28 strategic resources.  Coaches Across Continents was recognized 9 years ago by Beyond Sport with the Best New Project which helped to launch CAC on our road to success. This followed with Corporate of the Year with Chevrolet in 2014 as well as 22 other major global awards.

    Nick is joined at the awards by ASK for Choice Strategist, Nora Dooley and Sustainability Strategist, Adam Burgess.  The Awards may very well feel like a reunion of sorts, as the influence of CAC partnerships will be seen throughout.  Nick, Nora, and Adam will be very busy meeting our partners who were also shortlisted and meeting some other new faces.  CAC directly partners with 7 of the 35 finalists in the main categories.   There are also two separate categories where CAC partners are recognized.  2 of the 5 young leaders nominated for the Courageous Use of Sport Award and 2 of the 3 finalists for Sport for Refugees Award are CAC partners.

    Thursday, after the awards ceremony is the Beyond Sport United Conference.  Nora will be the expert on a panel on how sport specifically can support young people in being socially responsible and active.

    Not to be outdone by all the activity in NYC, 12 time zones away, Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz is in Kuala Lumpur for the Asian Football  (AFC) Confederation Social Responsibility Conference and Dream Asia awards, occurring on the same two days.  As the Official Social Responsibility Partner of the AFC, Coaches Across Continents is responsible for presenting at activities such as this one to share knowledge and best practices with their 47 member institutions as well as other organizations looking to use sport to create social change in Asia.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • #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.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

    Nick Gates

    Founder and Global Strategist

  • Not About the Ball

    August 21st, 2018. Community Impact Coach, Robelyn Villas, writes about the experience of working with Coaches Across Continents On-Field in the Philippines with CAC Community Partner, Gawad Kalinga, after the already exciting adventure of the FIFA Football for Hope Festival in Russia this Summer of 2018 in partnership with the World Cup! 

    To have another journey after becoming part of the Philippine delegation for Russia (FIFA Football For Hope Festival) was unanticipated until Coaches Across Continents selected me to be part of their training seminar, both as a participant and a facilitator.

    It was on July 28 when my colleague Coach John Paul and I, Coach Robelyn Villas, joined CAC Coaches Charlie and volunteer coach, Patty, in Giussepe F.C. – Campo, Cebu to be one of their participants. It was a two-day affair and we immediately jumped into their football drills and sessions. Among the sessions that we participated in were the Children’s Packet drill which promotes intercultural cooperation.

    The drills in Cebu that I participated in were also a chance for us to share and learn in teaching football as a social development platform, also as a tool to engage individuals in social issues arising from their localities and help them understand how to approach those issues.

    After the weekend seminar in Cebu City (July 28-29), we headed to Sagay City in Negros Occidental to join Coach Charlie and CAC as team-members in their 5-day seminar titled: “COACHES ACROSS CONTINENTS – Global Leaders in Sports for Social Impact.” For almost a  week (July 30-August 3), JP and I, led activities for the participants who were teachers, government employees and humanitarian volunteers from Gawad Kalinga’s SipaG Football Club.

    The activity that captivated me the most was a HIV and Sexual Health drill. The aim is to spread sexual health awareness among the participants since the growth rate in the Philippines for HIV is very alarming. The continuous widespread of HIV in our country should be taken seriously.

    It’s not just the drills and activities that inspired me so much during the CAC seminar, but also the wonderful city of Sagay, Negros Occidental wherein CAC held it’s event. The calm and pleasant ambience of the city is relaxing and so comfortable that it made you want to live there.

    Besides experiencing the tranquil ambience in Sagay, we were also able to witness one AFC (Asian Football Confederation) match in Bacolod City. The match was between top football clubs from their respective leagues, Ceres-Negros FC of the Philippines and Home United of Singapore. It was great to witness this kind of match among the top clubs in Southeast Asia, especially seeing it personally. The match ended with a draw (1-1).

    Overall, Coaches Across Continents helped me enhance my skills as a coach and I was able to have a fantastic opportunity to participate and facilitate drills that tackle social awareness and development. The 7 day seminar also guided me to become a more responsible coach and mentor. Teaching football shouldn’t only be about kicking the ball, but also instilling social responsibilities for us to be the catalyst of positive social change through Education Outside the Classroom.

  • Full Circle – 6 Years Later

    August 17th. 2018. Coaches Across Continents CEO, Brian Suskiewicz, writes about his time On-Field with ISF Cambodia working with some incredible participants and people.

    This past week marked a new phase in the CAC/ISF partnership.  At the end of two consecutive Hat-Trick Initiatives (Chance to Choice and ASK for Choice), CAC is now focused almost exclusively on the Process Consultancy Strategic Resources that we can provide to such a distinguished partner. Meanwhile, On-Field the ISF coaches ran the coaching education course using a combination of CAC curriculum and ISF-developed games alongside CAC’s Self-Directed Learning methodology to create Education Outside the Classroom.  Seeing the staff of ISF taking full control of the On-Field training for over 100 local coaches showed this partnership had reached a new level. Already the ISF team are planning another On-Field coaching education at the end of this month in the provinces for coaches in rural communities.

    Working for the past two weeks both prior, during, and after the week of On-Field training was myself, Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz.  In addition to observing and mentoring the ISF coaches On-Field, strategic meetings were held with key staff, school administration, the ISF country program manager Vicheka Chourp, ISF trustee Leo Brogan, and other ISF supporters one of which flew in for meetings from Hong Kong.  Key topics that our process consultancy covered was developing their soccer program M&E, and then how to use that information to better tell the impact their soccer program is having.  This includes their work with 4,000+ children in Phnom Penh creating Education Outside the Classroom, as well as their exemplary work with all-abilities children that earned them a 2018 Beyond Sport Award shortlist (winner announced September 12 in NYC).   We also mapped out ways to continue working together through potential joint-funding opportunities, which will combine the expertise of both organizations.  And finally we discussed internal improvements using our Workplace platform to inform our partners about webinars, monthly UN SDG curriculum, child and women’s rights policy creation, UN Global Days, Youth Leadership Courses like our MJYL program, and more.  These are all a part of our 28 year-round strategic resources that CAC uses to help our partners develop the organizational development and individual professional development in order to best impact their communities.

    Finally, it was a great personal experience for me.  Six years ago ISF initiated a conversation with me and CAC and our partnership began. In these years we have seen the ISF soccer program grow into an initiative that magnifies their work in their two schools, with their soccer program creating Education Outside the Classroom.  The ISF Soccer program also hosts domestic and international soccer events including the Ian Thompson Memorial Boys Tournament, the Goldman Sachs Girls Tournament, and the All-Abilities tournament each year, as well as the impact they are having on hundreds of local coaches and thousands of children annually.

    Fortunately, we will see each other again soon in New York City on September 12th, when the Beyond Sport Award Winners are announced.   Fingers crossed for ISF and all our six partners (plus ourselves) who were shortlisted!

  • The Most Valuable Toolset

    August 8. Meghan Fligg from CAC partner based out of Barnstable, MA, USA shares her reflections after our first ASK for Choice: Education Outside the Classroom training with United Kidz Soccer Development (UKSD) and South Shore Select Soccer Club. 

    Something we have learned through our journey here at UKSD is the importance of making partnerships. For the past few weeks, we have partnered with South Shore Select and Coaches Across Continents in order to enhance all of our abilities to reach kids through the game of soccer.

    South Shore Select is an all girls soccer club located in Hingham, MA. Although they focus much of their work on building talented young athletes who are both technically and tactically educated, they are very much aware of the importance of helping their players also build their sense of character, commitment, leadership potential, and global awareness. It is because of this that Select welcomed, with open arms, Coaches Across Continents hands- on-training. Over the course of two weeks, Select Coaches, along with our very own UKSD coaches, actively participated in CAC educational sessions. However, don’t let the word education make you think of classrooms and books. The CAC staff had us moving, playing, thinking on our toes, and having deep and meaningful discussions.  Their mission is to use sport as a means of community growth and awareness. They knew that with a pitch full of coaches and even some players that the best way to do this was through the game itself.

    Because CAC tailors their curriculums to the communities they are serving, they asked Select and ourselves what topics we wanted to focus on in our sessions . They wanted to know what we felt we needed in order to strengthen the kids we work with. We each came to the decision that some of the main focuses would be women’s empowerment, gender equity, leadership, healthy competition, and the definition of success. Throughout the training, these topics evolved in the most thoughtful and organic ways. Each coach was able to add their insight, experience, and how they could and would implement the lessons we were learning into our sessions with our kids.

    The beauty of our discussions were that there really was no wrong answer. Each coach was encouraged to take what they could from the different activities and games and find ways to adapt them depending on the age, diversity, needs, etc. of the particular group we would be working with. Every one of us walked away, day after day, with valuable skills and lessons we could implement immediately.

    It was in discussion after the trainings that we collectively recognized something; this type of player education could, quite possibly, be the most valuable toolset we could ever give the kids we work with.

    Although some will go on to play at the collegiate level or pursue careers having something to do with soccer or sport, many will pursue other endeavors. We need to give skills which can transfer from their training on the field to whatever it is that they choose to do off of it.

    We’re so excited for this partnership we’ve built with South Shore Select and Coaches Across Continents. It’s not everyday that an established soccer club will make time for this type of work. Even though winning may be important, they recognize that building youth with exceptional character is far more important. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of these organizations and our connections with them.

  • Safe Space

    August 6th, 2018. Community Impact Coach, Jaffar al Shishani, writes about his experience working with Coaches Across Continents in Armenia and Lebanon with GOALS Armenia and ANERA.

    Getting out of your comfort zone is not as easy as I thought it would be. After the last two weeks in Armenia and Lebanon with CAC this was the first thought that crossed my mind.

    Coaches Across Continents made it possible for me to explore new opportunities and deal with different cultures by applying a method based on creating a safe space where coaches and participants can be free to try, apply and exchange ideas. This safe space allows both sides to grow together and gain experience.

    Being used to working in Fencing,  an individual competitive sport, the experience with CAC was a very important chance for me to concentrate on different goals, and especially to reconsider the social impact and the power that sport can have to change society.

    One focus of our work in particular was on women rights and the use of sport to empower women.  Learning and applying CAC methodology also increased my own awareness of the constant violation of women rights in society, and gave me a different perspective on the subject. This kind of awareness will be very valuable and helpful in my development as a coach and I will try my best to use it to work for a change in my own country of Jordan. The desire to create a more equal society in my environment was a strong motivation to take part to this program in the first place, and CAC provided the safe space that I needed to develop ideas and strategies to work in this direction.