In 2020, Coaches Across Continents (CAC), with the Commonwealth Secretariat, created a play-based educational resource, covering issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, and stress. 96% of CAC partners reported the mental well-being of youth they engage has been affected by the pandemic. The resource seeks to benefit any organisation, community, coach, or teacher who interact with young people. The activities are adaptable to participant numbers and restrictions (distancing, hygiene etc) so they can be used in contexts where social distancing and hygiene measures are necessary.
In many ways COVID-19 has brought the world together as we adapt to the lack of travel and group experiences by connecting online and through messaging platforms. We can increase access to sport for development by designing interactive learning techniques accessible for all such as global video sharing and collaboration, active sport for development video games, and virtual reality technology.
COVID-19 has denied people the ability to socialise, play, and move, causing everyone to re-assess what really matters. One of the key opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic recovery presents to sport and play is that its benefits have been reinforced in people’s minds. We can build back better post COVID-19 by re-emphasising sport and play’s role in the emotional and social development of young people as opposed to primarily its role in elite talent development. Coaches using resources such as our Mental Health through Sport curriculum in their work will transform the perception of play in the minds of young people, parents, teachers, and communities.
Healthy Living With Disney
Coaches Across Continents is delighted to be working with Disney, love.futbol and Think Beyond on a new initiative promoting healthy living within low socio-economic communities in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Love.futbol are refurbishing safe spaces for play in Boulogne, Buenos Aires and Valle de Chalco outside Mexico City. These safe spaces will be managed by local organizations Revolucion Pelota and Natlik respectively.
CAC has designed local play-based programming with Revolucion Pelota and Natlik aligned with Disney’s healthy living principles. These programs, utilizing the new safe spaces, will address topics related to UNSDG3: Good Health & Wellbeing including nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and promotion of a positive personal lifestyle over the course of 9-12 months. Our role includes a Purposeful Play curriculum, designing monitoring and evaluation systems and online training of local leaders.
This exciting initiative follows on the heels of our partnership with ESPN, whose parent company is Disney, in Sydney and Puerto Rico over the past 2 years. We are pleased to bring this productive partnership to new communities, adapted for local realities and challenges.
CAC Shortlisted At Beyond Sport 2020
We are honored to be shortlisted for the Sport for Health and Well-being Award (SDG 3) Category at the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards! Our Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights initiative with Pathfinder International has been selected by Beyond Sport as one of just 16 shortlisted initiatives (from over 270 applications). This year, as there will be no in-person Beyond Sport Awards they will be promoting the Shortlist through a digital communications campaign that will run from September through to early December. We are thankful to Beyond Sport for this opportunity to champion our work to a wide audience. We are excited about the upcoming Beyond Sport House online events taking place from October-November.
This is our 6th Beyond Sport shortlist. In 2009 we won the Best New Project Award. In 2014 we won the Corporate of the Year award for our Chevrolet partnership. In 2018 we won the Global Impact award.
For more information on our partnership with Pathfinder International please have a look at this blog about our partnership launch and this blog about the impact of our work addressing Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights in Tanzania.
CAC’s COVID-19 Resource
July 30th Update. 96% of Coaches Across Continents (CAC) partners reported the mental well-being of youth they impact has been moderately or severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CAC has adapted a specialized play-based educational resource from our existing Purposeful Play curriculum library which addresses issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, balancing emotions, stress, and loneliness.
The games are adaptable to varying numbers of participants and national restrictions (distancing, hygiene, one-person activity). As a result it can be used in contexts where isolation, social distancing and public hygiene measures are necessary. This resource is coming soon!
CAC is going to be #PartOfTheSolution as we fight this global COVID-19 pandemic. Education on COVID-19 is urgently needed by children globally. Many of the communities in which we work do not have access to running water and live in heavily congested communities making social distancing far more challenging. Donate to CAC’s work to support our play-based response to this crisis.
As the global leader in Purposeful Play, CAC have released a new Purposeful Play curriculum packet to educate communities, coaches, and children on best practices associated with the coronavirus and other communicable diseases. The COVID-19 resource has been distributed to all of our 75 impact partners in 45 countries addressing UNSDG3: Good Health and Well-being and UNSDG4: Quality Education.
The packet is divided into 2 general sections:
1. Resources that include
- Talking with Youth about Scary Diseases
- Myths & Facts
- Coaching Guidelines
- Research & Science Facts
2. Activities specially designed to focus on
- Best practices to avoid contracting the virus (hand washing, social distancing, and more)
- Best practices to avoid spreading the virus if you become infected (testing, isolation)
Unlike most CAC Purposeful Play curriculum all activities in this packet are designed to be played with as little physical contact as possible. For more information about our COVID-19 Curriculum contact us at
More on CAC’s COVID-19 Response
- CAC Founder Nick Gates presented our COVID-19 curriculum on Beyond Sport’s inaugural community chat on April 9th. Here is a link to the full recording of that chat.
- We are pleased to be a supporting signatory on Soccer Without Borders and America SCORES’ call to address youth isolation during the COVID-19 crisis.
- We are a supporter of the European Football for Development Network’s #SupporterofEachOther initiative.
CAC & Football United Going The Extra Mile
March 20th 2020. Although the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Sydney has been postponed for 2020 the race runners are still selecting an Extra Mile program to support in 2020. This week they are selecting one of three ’causes’ to support that have a specific focus on public health with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 3 causes are mental health, physical activity and healthy living including hygiene. This program, once selected, will be delivered by CAC partner Football United, supported by CAC. We are disappointed to not be able to be on the ground in Sydney during this fun event but are delighted Bloomberg are still going The Extra Mile with Football United and CAC again in 2020.
This is our 3rd consecutive year working with Bloomberg as The Extra Mile partner in Sydney. Over the past 12 months the Football United program has effectively delivered school based programs which promote social inclusion and community cohesion, as selected by the 2019 race runners. We have also worked with Bloomberg on this initiative in Tokyo in 2018 and Beijing in 2019.
Kicking Into Life
September 24, 2019. CAC staff member, Jamie Tomkinson, led our second year of Purposeful Play training with local partner, Palestine Sports for Life. He was also joined by Community Impact Coach, Marian Dubois, of the Fútbol Más site in Paris, France.
The CAC team have been in Palestine this last week – working in partnership with Palestine Sports for Life and Fútbol Más France, we delivered a world class programme for over 20 coaches, community leaders, government ministers and teachers from the United Nations. Taking into account the issues that affect the citizens of the West Bank, we decided to use our #PurposefulPlay curriculum to deliver a workshop that addressed UNSDG #3 ‘Health and Wellness’ and UNSDG #5 ‘Gender Equality’.
Specifically, we wanted to focus on Mental Health. Many residents of Palestine have difficulty with anxiety, conflict resolution and depression due to many factors. We played some games from our upcoming and new Mental Health Curriculum, where our discussions focused on 1) how our actions and words can affect those around us and 2) what we can do as friends, family and leaders to support not only children, but also other members of our community who are suffering in silence. The simple act of listening, for example, was mentioned many times and the importance of being approachable and simply being present, can make a massive difference.
A highlight for me was going to visit one of the participant’s local Kick-Boxing class for girls and young women. We were only supposed to be there for 45 minutes, but I found myself still there 2 and a half hours later laughing and learning – I got my own taste of #EducationOutsideTheClassroom, as these brilliant young women and girls taught me what life was like for them, how they’ve built up a commendable resilience, and with their Kick-Boxing skills, if they wanted to beat me up they’d have no problem!