• #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.

    #WhatsYourLegacy?

  • Child Rights, Child Protection – #ItStartsWithYou.

    November 2nd, 2018. Coaches Across Continents ASK for Choice Advisory Team Member, Dr. Judith Gates writes on her work with CAC and UNICEF for Universal Children’s Day on November 20th, as well as our ongoing partnership for Child Rights and Child Protection around the world.

    Coaches Across Continents works around the globe. According to our latest count, we have worked in 55 countries on 6 continents. Our unique footprint of deep involvement in local communities gives us an unprecedented perception of the level and scope of the abuse of child rights around the world. This leads to our clear, unvarnished recognition of the urgent need internationally for child protection policies and actions.

    Within communities and within sporting environments we have heard and seen so many examples of child abuse. We have learned that wider traditional community norms invariably influence behaviour on the sports field.

    At national federation level a gymnastics doctor was convicted of sexual assault of more than 100 girls. English professional football has been inundated by a wave of allegations of sex abuse.

    However the victims are now beginning to speak out. A highly respected Coaches Across Continents team member was a victim of sexual abuse by her coach during her teens. And the abuse is not just happening at the international, national, professional or ‘elite athlete’ level in sport. It is happening in local communities around the world, large and small; local communities where sport is played for fun, local communities who use sport for social development.

    A girl child in rural Tanzania is sold for sex. The payment is a bag of rice. A coach touches a team member inappropriately. He relies on his power to buy silence. Boy children attend a madrassa and are coerced into taking part in oral sex. And, horrific though sexual abuse is, physical, verbal and emotional abuse also leave a lasting negative impression on the hearts and minds of young people globally. We at CAC see it all.

    That is why, several years ago, CAC responded promptly to an invitation from UNICEF to work with them to create a set of International Safeguards for Children in Sport. We ask you to download this for help in creating your own child protection policy. https://www.sportanddev.org/en/learn-more/child-protection-and-safeguarding-sport

    CAC continues to contribute in many ways to the development of child protection policies, locally as well as internationally, on the sports field and within the community. We support our partners to create community based as well as sports based policies to protect their children. We all share the collective responsibility to protect children from abuse. You as well as us.

    Therefore we ask all our partners to join with us to safeguard children. 

    Together we can make a difference.

    Remember #ItStartsWithYou.

     

  • Beyond Sport Award Shortlist

    July 24, 2017.  Coaches Across Continents is shortlisted for the Global Impact of the Year at the Beyond Sport Awards.  CAC has previously won the Beyond Sport Awards in 2009 (Best New Project) and 2014 (Corporate of the Year), and was also shortlisted in 2015 for the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport award.  The announcement of the winners will be on Wednesday evening at the One World Observatory in NYC.  In attendance will be Chief Executive Brian Suskiewicz and Sustainability Strategist Adam Burgess.

    Corporations, Governments, Foundations, and Community Based organizations from 95 countries have requested our Process Consultancy services to help them Design, Develop, and Implement sustainable Education Outside the Classroom Programs that use Sport for Social Impact.

    Coaches Across Continents is the only global NGO providing year-round process consultancy resources.  By using our Self-Directed Learning methodology, CAC mentors organizations through our Hat-Trick Initiative to create legacies of positive social change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    Our work and expertise has been recognized through 21 major global awards, invitations for dozens of international presentations and keynote speeches annually, published methodology, and CSR work in 20 countries for corporations and foundations.

    Our impact on six continents has allowed for hundreds of communities and tens of thousands of leaders to be able to create positive social change for millions of children.

     

  • CAC at Beyond Sport Awards in London

    October 19, 2015.  Coaches Across Continents founder Nick Gates is attending the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards 2015 in London, England.  The event is from October 19-21, 2015, and includes a presentation by Nick on curriculum during the Beyond Rugby portion of the summit.

    Coaches Across Continents has been shortlisted for the first annual UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport Award.  Winners will be announced on October 20, 2015.  CAC has previously been awarded the Beyond Sport Award for ‘Best New Project’ for our Hat-Trick Initiative in 2009 and for ‘Corporate of the Year‘ in 2014 for our partnership with Chevrolet.  CAC would be the only third-time winner of these prestigious awards.

    Every CAC educator in all of our community training’s participate in an extensive Child Protection and Child Rights course. This includes agreeing to protect every child in their care from emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse and learning how to educate children about their rights through a Child Rights sport for social impact curriculum based on the UN Rights of the Child. In 2014 and 2015 this course has educated 6,325 local coaches, teachers and community leaders who work with 514,603 youth in 30 countries.

    Each year the Beyond Sport summit distinguishes itself as the preeminent conference for sport for social development demonstrating the power of sport to do good. The summit brings together some of the biggest names in professional sport, sport for development, sports media and business. In 2015 some of the nominees include The Big Issue for Australia, the Miami Heat, the England and Wales Cricket Board, SV Werder Bremen, BT Sport and New Balance. Our community partners CREATA (Kenya), HODI (Kenya) and Fundlife International (Philippines) are also nominated. We wish all of our partners the best of luck and want to thank Beyond Sport once again for the honor of being shortlisted in 2015.

    South Africa

  • CAC Shortlisted For Beyond Sport Awards

    August 10th 2015. Coaches Across Continents is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted at the illustrious Beyond Sport Awards 2015 in the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport category. The nomination is CAC’s fourth at the Beyond Sport awards. Of these nominations we have two wins; ‘Best New Project‘ for the Hat-Trick Initiative in 2009 and ‘Corporate of the Year‘ for our partnership with Chevrolet in 2014.

    Since 2012 CAC has been part of the International Safeguarding Children in Sport Working group alongside organizations such as UNICEF UK, UK Sport, Beyond Sport and Comic Relief. This group spent two years developing The International Safeguards for Children In Sport, a set of global standards to safeguard all children participating in sport. In 2014 CAC piloted our Child Rights policy which has since been used at every partner program we have run in the last 18 months.

    Dr. Judith Gates, CAC Board Member and co-coordinator of this policy stated, ‘Through education and training in child protection strategies, Coaches Across Continents’ Safeguarding Children in Sport Initiative protects children, empowers coaches and changes cultural and community attitudes towards child abuse.  The single biggest practical insight from CAC’s safeguarding initiative is the need to “bring policy to life.” This requires a pragmatic approach in which   safeguarding policies are founded on local realities, but where there is knowledge of the pathway to be traveled and a clear understanding of the hallmarks of the optimal destination.’

    On the nomination CAC’s Founder and Global Strategist Nick Gates said, ‘It is an honor to be shortlisted for a Beyond Sport award, the leader in global sport for development awards, for the 2nd year in a row. Safeguarding children is at the forefront of everything we have done over the past few years so to be recognized for this work is a testament to the passion and ability of our incredible staff, volunteers, board, community partners, program participants and supporters.’

    In addition to our nomination, our global partners CREATA Kenya, Horn of Africa Development Initiative, Moving the Goalposts Kilifi and Football 4 Life Tacloban were also shortlisted for awards! Congratulations to all of them- the recognition is well deserved.

    We would like to thank Beyond Sport for the nomination and for recognizing our work on child protection. The Beyond Sport awards 2015 take place in London on October 19th-21st so stay tuned!

  • Peace Is A Process

    July 10th, 2015.  Peace does not come easy.  For every person hoping for peace there always seems to be another who is causing conflict.  This is what makes what Football for Hope, Peace, and Unity and the second year of our “Play For Hope: Rwanda20” partnership so special.  FHPU has dedicated its mission to working for lasting peace in a country that has had numerous conflicts, the most notable and recent of which occurred 21 years ago in the form of a million-person genocide in just over three months time.  Before our week in Rwamagana, the CAC team was able to visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial which is just as humbling as the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the Killing Fields in Cambodia.  All three memorials look to educate on the past while promoting the ideals of a peaceful future existence.  To give you an idea of the scope and impact that the genocide had on Rwanda, a National Trauma Survey by UNICEF estimated that 80% of Rwandan children experienced a death in the family in 1994, with 70% of children witnessing someone being killed or injured.   This was an event that completely transformed the nation and continues to form its identity moving forward.

    How do you move on from such a catastrophic event?  And how is FHPU through their soccer initiative PFH: Rwanda20 continuing to help this process?  In the aftermath of the genocide, Rwanda implemented what was known as the Gacaca.  It is a community-lead, grass-roots peace process.   This allowed for victims and perpetrators to come forward and tell their stories.  Punishments were then levied towards the genocidaires, but typically a 50% reduced sentenced that allowed them to work outside of a prison cell with their manual labor benefiting the community.

    Even today, 21 years later, peace remains a process.  On Thursday we concluded our training with the coaches and teachers of Rwamagana by playing a game from our Peace Day curriculum called “Understanding Stereotypes and Challenging Them.”  It can also be easily used to discuss discrimination and segregation, both of which were factors in the build-up of the genocide.  At the conclusion of the game we were hoping to openly discuss the historical issues between the Hutus and Tutsis, but we were told that it would be better to wait one day.  Even today people struggle to speak openly about a difficult topic – they need time to put their thoughts together.  The following morning during coach-backs, one group chose to replay this game.  At the conclusion, a 30-minute group discussion was held in a seated circle on the grass. To someone who was just learning about the intricacies of Rwandan history, it felt very much like an extension of a Gacaca, where the community was able to come together to speak on difficult subjects.

    The conclusion we heard from one coach after the discussion about the game is that when you segregate or discriminate, you are putting one group above another, and conflict is bound to follow.  Dr. Holly Collison, who is studying and researching in the field of Sport for Peace and Development for Loughborough University, also joined the discussion.  Her short participatory activity in the middle of the discussion showed that through communication you can learn about others, both your similarities and differences, but that communication is key.  The more you communicate, the more you understand about each other and how similar we all are.  And this is what the coaches and their fellow Rwandans are still doing today.  Even after 21 years, peace remains a process.

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