Sports Diplomacy in Vietnam
Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is excited to announce we have been selected as the sub-award partner for the implementation of an International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Women Win Foundation and the U.S. Embassy of Vietnam. This specific ISPI is an international exchange program between the USA and Vietnam to empower the most marginalized youth through sport.
This program provides an opportunity for sports-based exchanges between the U.S.A and Vietnam that advance the goals of building values of inclusion and the leadership of marginalized youth. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the exchange is currently virtual. The US and Vietnamese participants will meet with fellow coaches and administrators to engage in workshops and experiences related to leadership, storytelling, cultural exchange and sport for social change.
CAC, in partnership with Women Win, is honored to be part of the Sports Diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State.
Coaches Across Continents Finalist At Beyond Sport
July 27, 2017. Coaches Across Continents was a finalist for the Beyond Sport Award for Global Impact of the Year in New York City. Representing CAC during the ceremony was Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz. “We are extremely proud and humble to be recognized for our work in hundreds of communities on six continents, impacting thousands of coaches and millions of children annually to create legacies of change in their communities. We would like to thank our great corporate, governmental, foundation, and community partners. We also could not do the work that we do without our extremely dedicated staff, various advisory boards, supporting partners, and global citizens who all volunteer their time to create legacies around the world. Finally, I would like to thank all the tens of thousands of coaches and organizations that we have worked with who help to create social impact through sport in their communities, countries, and globally.”
Congratulations to Women Win for winning Global Impact of the Year at the 2017 Beyond Sport awards! We are proud to have a strong relationship with them having worked together to deliver sport for social development globally. Coaches Across Continents has previously won Beyond Sport Awards in the Best New Project (2009) and Corporate of the Year (2014) categories. This is the third Beyond Sport shortlist recognition for CAC since 2014.
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 on Beyond Sport Awards Shortlist
May 22nd 2017. We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in the Global Impact of the Year Award category at the 2017 Beyond Sport awards! We are joining a prestigious list of nominees in this category which includes Women Win and Skateistan. As a global organization Coaches Across Continents is honored to be recognized in this way by Beyond Sport. In 2017 we have partnerships on six continents with a wide range of organizations, corporations, governments and communities who use sport to educate young people. Two of our partners, YFC Rurka Kalan in Punjab, India and Grupo Internacional de Paz in Colombia, are also shortlisted for the awards so we wish them congratulations.
This is the 5th time CAC has been shortlisted at a Beyond Sport awards. Of these nominations we have previously had two wins; ‘Best New Project‘ for the Hat-Trick Initiative in 2009 and ‘Corporate of the Year‘ for our partnership with Chevrolet in 2014. In 2015 we were also shortlisted for the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport award.
We would like to thank Beyond Sport for the recognition and all of our partners, Community Impact Coaches, Global Citizens, advisory board, program participants and supporters for their ongoing support. Our success is your success! The 2017 Beyond Sport awards take place in New York from July 25th-27th. We are looking forward to attending and hope to see you there. For the full shortlist please go to this link.
Confidence Across Continents
November 15, 2014. Volunteer Coach Earl Strassberger writes about the first week of his second stint On-Field with CAC, last year in Cameroon and Ghana, this year in India.
We are working in Delhi, with a group of 33 young ladies. They are of college age and are the most confident group of young people I have ever met. They are energetic, athletic, and polite. They speak up. They listen to others. They support each other.
Coaches Across Continents (CAC) worked with most of these young ladies last year. They clearly remembered much from last year. I can see why. When we are teaching in a classroom setting they have pencils and notebooks. During water breaks they take out their notebooks and write down the names and descriptions of the games they just played. They are able to concentrate. In fact, as I am writing this we are having a discussion of a child’s rights in a school room that doubles as a gym. There is a class of adorable six year-olds learning dance moves. Our girls are not distracted.
They gain their confidence in a number of ways. One is by learning to speak up. The girls all play netball. As with any sport you must warm up. We use a CAC game called Circle of Friends. The game involves moving to the center of the circle and back out. How they move is determined by the leader. It could involve high stepping; running; side to side movement; etc: But it is the other purpose that is so important. When they go to another person they slap hands and scream out their names. They use their voices authoritatively. Note that the leader changes what they shout out: For example; the second shout could be the name of their favorite team. We may have them do a silly handshake instead of high fives. But the most fun is having each pair jump, bump, and shout, ¨boom shakalaka¨. They love it! Last year I was in Cameroon with Brian. We just arrived in Buea and were walking through town when a coach saw Brian and shouted, you guessed it, boom shakalaka!
The second way these young ladies gain confidence is through learning how to play netball and being on a team. They are good at it! After one practice we played a game with them. I repeat, these girls are good players.
The third way they have gained confidence is because of the fantastic support from our partner organization; the Naz India Foundation. These girls are lucky to be in this amazing program. Naz uses games from CAC’s Goal On-Field curriculum developed in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.
The girls proved themselves over the last two days. First they got into groups of four or five and then they spent an hour thinking of problems in their communities. After that we asked them to create a CAC-like game to send the message about the problem.
The next day we watched them conduct their games with the children of the school where we did our training. Each group had its challenges. One was a group of about 30 boys and girls about eight years old. Another was a smaller group, maybe only 15, but all fourteen-year-old boys.
The girls took charge. They had the kids playing their games. They held discussions about the problem and the possible solutions. It worked, the kids were engaged and our girls experienced more success.
Note that Naz is much more than some games. The girls start out as participants in a 10-month program. It is a women’s empowerment program offering weekly sessions to adolescent girls who may or may not be in school and whose families have low income. They learn netball and life skills such as health, rights, communication, and financial literacy.
The second year they become peer leaders and community sport coaches. They are assigned to a school and coach groups of kids; sometimes as many as 200. They receive a stipend for this work.
The third year a very few, the best of the best, get paid positions as netball coaches and life skills trainers. We had Pooja and Amrita working with us. They were professional in all aspects of the Naz and CAC programs. Other graduates of the program have found jobs with Standard Chartered and other corporations. By the way, Naz also runs an orphanage! What a wonderful organization. Their participants will create positive change in India.
On a personal note; I am a retired school teacher. Working with young people always makes me feel younger. Working with the CAC staff; Sophie and Billy, and our community impact coach, Guru, is terrific. They make it easy to be successful.
2013: Off the Field
January 1st 2014. Happy New Year! Coaches Across Continents have had an incredible 2013 both with the programs all over the world and with the development of the organisation to ensure the quality and consistency of the work that is done. Across the board CAC have worked in more countries with more community partners, coached more local coaches and reached more children through the program. This operational growth is not possible without constant work behind the scenes to ensure that CAC adapts and improves to solidify its spot as global leaders in sport for social impact.
Coaches Across Continents is based on collaborative partnerships which are used to ensure the greatest impact for the communities in which we work. From on field partnerships with all 51 of our community partners to off field partnerships which strengthen the organisation they are integral to our success. In 2013 we continued to develop our partnership with One World Futbol, the maker of the virtually indestructible ball. These sustainable balls are now being used at most of our programs with many of our community partners gaining access to the ball. Our network of NGO’s benefits One World Futbol and the balls add great value to our program. We filmed a program in Brazil for One World Futbol/ Chevrolet and ESPN which resulted in some inspiring footage for all parties involved.
Our work with Standard Chartered bank led to many incredible programs in 2013 in Ghana, Tanzania and Indonesia highlighting the potential for successful non-profit and corporate partnerships. The Standard Chartered/ Women Win/ Coaches Across Continents GOAL female empowerment program also succeeded by reaching thousands more young people. CAC also demonstrated our ability to engage employees by running training for a large number of Standard Chartered employees in Indonesia. We have worked closely with other partners such as XL Soccer, and Harvard University in 2013 while our membership within the Street Football World and Beyond Sport networks continue to be invaluable.
CAC have also had a strong presence off the field at global conferences and workshops which highlight the importance of sport and its ability to positively impact communities. In April we attended the Soccerex event in Manchester, UK. Combining with OWF we had a booth and were able to generate exposure and meet with many influential people in the world of sport. This was followed by Nick Gates, the founder of CAC, speaking at a Soccerex convention in Brazil in June. In September CAC participated in the Street Football World North America workshop in Philadelphia. This involved high level meetings focused on strategic direction, monitoring and evaluation and human resource. Following this workshop Nick spoke at the Beyond Soccer and Beyond Sport events in Philadelphia.
This meant that CAC were represented on panels concerning monitoring the success of the program and curriculum development demonstrating the high regard with which CAC is held in the sport for social impact community. Throughout the year CAC has been recognised in the field with requests to both speak and to attend events such as the Doha Goals Forum in December and the Social Venture Network convention in Baltimore. As sport for social impact grows it is clear that CAC has been recognised as a global leader in terms of programming, strategic growth, evaluation and curriculum. This standing in the community has already continued into 2014 with Nick scheduled to speak at a conference in India in February.
The on-field growth over 5 years has precipitated a development and growth in the organisation off the field. There are now more staff to run and develop CAC with more needed in 2014 to continue the previous years successes. Our coach advisory board constantly work to develop our curriculum to be at the forefront of international issues such as child protection and women’s rights. While the business advisory board are key in allowing these programs to run smoothly through their improvement of organisational policies and practices. Our award winning WISER monitoring and evaluation system is regularly tested and adapted to stay ahead of the curve.
We understand the importance of an innovative and relevant organisation and therefore have been undergoing an in depth brand refresh process with the help of the Taiji brand group. In the coming weeks and months this process will be finalised with positive implications for Coaches Across Continents, our community partners and participants. Moving into 2014 CAC will be growing, having impact and having fun with our proven concept of using soccer to create social change in communities across the world.
CAC does Netball for Social Impact
December 3, 2013. Sorry did I say netball? I meant foot… no, no, netball. That’s right. CAC coaches Sophie Legros, Nora Dooley, Sarah Brown, and CIC Homkant Surandase from Slum Soccer, stepped off the football pitch and onto the netball court for two weeks working with NAZ GOAL (nerd-alert! not be confused with the hobbit-hunting ring-wraiths in Tolkein’s classic). These two trainings in India were spent in Mumbai and then Delhi with two great groups of young leaders having a real impact on their communities.
Our first week in Mumbai stands as the second year we have sent coaches to work with this team from NAZ. Our staff were very impressed by the manner in which this group presented themselves to us – who they are, what they currently do, what they want to do, and what they need from our team to make the most of our time in Mumbai and to have the greatest possible impact on the communities they work in. The communication was refreshing and the week kicked off – or should I say passed off? – to a great start.
The participants consisted partly of peer leaders from the GOAL program. These are young female GOAL participants that are emerging as leaders among their peers and are pursuing the opportunity to play a more active role in their community. The rest of the group was made up of Community Sports Coaches (CSCs) and Senior Coaches. The CSCs are girls who have developed from peer leaders into coaches, and the Senior Coaches are young women – and one man! – who have come into their own as role models to the others, leading all things NAZ GOAL throughout Mumbai and beyond.
The priority for this week, as communicated to us by the NAZ senior leaders, was for us to go through each GOAL game thoroughly to ensure that all participants understand how the game connects with the social message, and how to balance the dynamic between GOAL games and GOAL classroom activities. To assist in this effort we asked to be taken to a GOAL classroom session at a school so we, CAC, could better understand that aspect of the program. Our team started the day off by coaching the GOAL participants, a large group of giggly young girls, in one of our Be Money Savvy games called Budgeting with Yelena. This is a game of tag where the taggers represent things we should not be spending our money on, or “wants”, and we ask the players to come up with examples. This group thought of makeup, fast food, parties, and jewelry to begin the game. We play the first round where the “wants” chase everybody else and if they tag somebody they give them the cone and that person becomes the “want”. Then we add netballs. The netballs represent money. If a player has a ball she is safe and they must pass to each other to keep each other safe from the “wants”. But, if they drop a ball, or it goes out of bounds, they’ve lost the ball, the money. The players are forced to make smart, quick decisions to stay away from the “wants” and not lose their money. In life we must make good decisions and not spend our budget on the things we want but the things we need. We ask the girls after the game about “needs” and to give us examples of things in life that we need. This game corresponds with the classroom session “Wants and Needs” that we observed afterwards led by some of the CSCs. This activity expands on the differences between the things we want and those that we need, giving more examples, as well as giving the participants a sample budget and asking them how they would spend it.
After this day we really understood what the NAZ Mumbai team needed and how we could best help them. The rest of the week was terrific and both groups left feeling satisfied that we accomplished our goals, enabling each other to do our jobs and achieve maximum impact.
As we bid farewell to the heat of Mumbai, the wonderful YMCA where we stayed, and that incredible group of game-changers, we set our sights on Delhi, and prepared for the sensory overload that comes with the capital city.
Same organization. Same country. That’s about all that was similar between our two weeks with NAZ GOAL.
Delhi was a different state, different city, different group of participants, and a vastly different week overall.
And that’s the beauty of Coaches Across Continents.
Initially the program was to be the same with both groups, as we had previously planned with Senior Coaches from both cities. But just as we discover with every program, in every city/town/village, in every country we work in, plans change, adapt, transform as we begin to understand who we are working with, the dynamics of the group, the unique situation they are coming from, working in, striving for. It is all part of that magical CAC equation that yields success worldwide.
NAZ GOAL Delhi is where NAZ began in India, and it was obvious from the outset that this program was farther along in terms of organizational structure, management and sheer size. A larger group of participants, made up mostly of peer leaders and CSCs, the priority for this group was for the younger members to step up as coaches and practice their leadership skills.
Built in to the week were two of the regularly planned GOAL sessions where peer leaders and coaches run games and classroom activities for about 150 students from the school where we were working. The plan for these sessions was for the GOAL team to assist the CAC team with one game, and then run the second on their own. Our team decided to play Mia Hamm Communication in one massive circle with 150 screaming, hormonal teenagers. Good idea? Great idea! Chaos ensued, naturally, but who doesn’t love a bit of mayhem at the office? The students went absolutely nuts, especially the boys, but they were so happy, so excited to play, so eager to learn and listen to every single word we had to say, and spoke great English so we actually managed to get bits of the social message across – wow! That was a ton of fun.
The young leaders were great all week. At each and every session they could not wait to play, learn netball skills (from our CAC master netball coaches, of course), and participate in discussions about everything from the importance of budgeting and saving money, to keeping our bodies healthy and how important it is for women to empower each other, for men to empower women, and for women to empower men.
Another great week with NAZ GOAL, a long blog, and our last stop in India as we say bye to CIC Homkant and coaches Sophie, Nora, and Sarah finish up long trips on the field for one last program in the beautiful mountains of Nepal – jealous? Yep.