• Reclaim Childhood & UKSD Latest Accredited Organizations

    As part of CAC’s 2020 celebrations of International Women’s Day worldwide we are very excited to announce that another amazing organization in our global collaboration has been accredited in Purposeful Play: Congratulations to Reclaim Childhood!!!

    CAC and Reclaim Childhood have been working closely together for more than 3 years. During this time we have shared resources and experiences, played lots of games, learned through honest dialogue on and off the field, and evolved in our understanding of what it takes to deliver programs for girls, led by women and in contexts complicated by politics and war. Nora Dooley, who has been with CAC for 7 years working with community partners worldwide, says of Reclaim Childhood: “I have said this to CAC staff, to the RC team, and to anyone who is listening – these programs in Jordan are some of the best examples I have ever experienced first hand and from a distance of what a ‘safe space’ looks like for girls and women to play and learn. Every interaction I have with RC holds honesty and a fierce commitment to these women and girls at its center. Personal strong opinion: Anyone in this space of sport/play/education for local and global development should check out this program and see what they can learn.”

    Explore here for more information on Reclaim Childhood.

    We also wanted to take this moment to give another shout-out to recently accredited organization, UKSD! Our two years working alongside this powerful organization based in Massachusetts have been intense, thoughtful and always very fun. This is a group of humans building a legacy in a country that values developing talent in sport, making money and winning championships to the extreme extent that programs like UKSD are few and far between. We are so energized working closely with UKSD to support their use of Purposeful Play as a tool to challenge the harmful cultures around sport in the US and inspire young female leaders to find and share their voices in this complicated society. And a special shout-out to a particular young leader, Lexi Papavasiliou, who has been a superpower driving the incredible impact of UKSD in communities around Massachusetts and worldwide. CAC met Lexi in 2018 and we are constantly inspired by her strength and commitment to social change. Congratulations again to UKSD!!

    Find more information here about UKSD.

  • 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.