It’s a GOAL in the Ashanti Region
April 19, 2013. Coaches Across Continents has just completed our first program in the Ashanti region, working in Kumasi, Ghana. The program focused on teaching the GOAL program to nearly 100 coaches during the week. The GOAL program has been championed by Standard Chartered bank. The 100 participants were youth coaches, physical education teachers, and other local leaders.
The GOAL program has both on and off field components. Coaches Across Continents is teaching the On Field modules of Be Healthy, Be Yourself, Be Empowered, and Be Money Savvy. The lessons learned by the coaches can be easily taught through football-based games to their players in order to create improved footballers and future leaders of Ghana.
More important than the fun week of training are the over 5,000 players who will benefit directly from their coaches teaching them this new curriculum. Coaches Brian, Emily, Nico, and Earl had a great time working each morning, battling the crowds and noise of Kumasi in the afternoon, and saw what damage a fierce tropical rain can do each evening. One morning coming to the field a giant African Tulip tree was found uprooted (see our pictures on FB!)
In addition to Standard Chartered Bank, we received a great boost from One World Futbol, the Ghana Football Association, and Youth Icons who all helped to make sure that this week was a success.
Here For Good – Standard Chartered in Ghana
April 12, 2013. This week was a perfect score. In 100˚F heat we worked with 100+ coaches at the Kaneshie Sports Complex in Accra, Ghana. Despite the warm temperatures, the coaches were playful and enthusiastic as we learned games from the GOAL curriculum. This curriculum, championed by Standard Chartered Bank, teaches young players, especially girls, four main themes: Be Healthy, Be Empowered, Be Yourself, and Be Money Savvy. The Standard Chartered motto, “Here For Good”, perfectly states their mission to improve the communities in which they work.
This week’s collaboration between Coaches Across Continents, Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Icons, and the Ghana Football association highlighted what can be accomplished at the grass roots level through football. GFA coaches Daniel Mensah and Carl Lokko helped to bring in over 100 youth coaches from the greater Accra region. These coaches came from a variety of backgrounds including former Black Stars (Ghana National Team), youth team coaches, and even some physical education teachers. These coaches have pledged to CAC that they will teach these GOAL games and messages to their approximately 8,000 boys and girls players over the next year.
From the outset the coaches eagerly jumped into our soccer-based games, sometimes getting into great competition with each other. Laughter and dust flew easily as the coaches put in a great effort into all of the games they learned. It is clear that Ghana will continue to be a power in Africa on and off the field because of great coaches like these. They are interested in making great footballers as well as great future citizens, and are the type of strong coach role models that are necessary to make this happen. Next week the GOAL training will continue in Kumasi, Ghana, as we work for the first time in the Ashanti Region.
Top 3 moments in Ghana with our implementing partners Youth Icons and Standard Chartered Bank.
October 24th, 2011. From Marisa in Ghana:
Over dinner at the Majisi Court Hotel, Jaren, Nick, Emily, sometimes Nana and Trecity and I would discuss our top moments of the day both on and off the field. Every time the question came up, I was always asked first yet responded last. It is always hard to sort through the many moments of the day to decide which were the most noteworthy. In the last couple days with the Youth Icons Coaching for Sustainable Development program in Tamale, Ghana, Jaren and I were the two coaches in charge of bringing the program to an end, which included one day of training when the coaches coached the other coaches and the final day in which we presented each coach a certificate for their time, effort and dedication to our program.
It was very rewarding to see the coaches take over the sessions and teach their fellow coaches the games that we had taught them the week before. Coaches formed groups of 2-4 and explained the activities using demonstrations, clear voices and lots of encouraging words. The coaches were able to take the games, execute them and then touch on the themes that each game addressed. By the end of the two weeks it was evident that among the group of 90 there were distinct leaders who could get the group moving in the right direction and who commanded a lot of respect from their fellow coaches.
In continuing with our theme of discussing the day’s top three moments, I have chosen to discuss my top three moments/people in hopes of painting a better picture of our team’s experiences in Tamale.
- Nana Dwarka, founder and director of Youth Icons, was the driving force behind the success of the program. Nana made sure that everything ran smoothly and that everyone in the program was well taken care of. He himself participated in the program and found the HIV prevention games to be the most interesting. He showed enthusiasm for every theme we touched on even when he complained about his sore muscles the next morning. He helped our group of coaches better understand Ghana and was always encouraging more conversation about various topics. We all soon learned that if we left Nick and Nana in a room together they could talk hours on end, touching on topics across the board.
- Sir Alex Ferguson (Adam). When I wrote earlier about leaders that emerged in the group, I was referring to Sir Alex Ferguson, who was the only disabled coach that participated in the program and from the get-go made sure that we knew his disability would not limit his involvement in the program. He participated in almost every single exercise and always did so with a huge smile on his face. When it was time for him to coach, his voice was loud and clear and immediately garnered the respect of his fellow coaches. When we went to the local radio station to be interviewed, Nick was asked why he chose to include someone like Alex in his training program. For the group of CAC coaches we were a bit shocked that this question would arise particularly after all witnessing how competent Alex is as a coach. It was a great moment because it allowed Nick to explain that our program is about social inclusion because we all believe that soccer is a game for everyone.
- Attending a handful of trainings led by the coaches from the program showed me the power of the CAC curriculum. It was one thing to watch the coaches teach the other coaches at the end of the week, but it was another when the coaches actually took the activities to their own communities with their own teams. I participated in a training led by two of the male coaches for their youth female team. It was encouraging to see various female teams practicing and to see the support that many of the coaches had for the development of female soccer in their region. The coaches were thrilled to invite us to their trainings and when we arrived, instantly we were doing Circle of Friends, Manchester Street Soccer and many other CAC games. I could see firsthand that the coaches had understood the trainings and that the players were being challenged by the newly introduced games. We also watched a female youth team’s game that was being played on a field next to men’s game and it was wonderful to see that more people were watching the girls game and not only were people watching, but they were completely engaged in the play. For me, it was a very memorable moment. I am encouraged to know that the coaches can take the trainings and implement in their communities so that they will reach more and more players.
A record number of partner requests in 2011.
March 31st, 2011. The demand for the Coaches across Continents program for 2011 resulted in more than 90 partner requests from more than 30 countries. Communities in 13 countries have been selected for programs in 2011 and no more applications are being accepted this year.
“The number of requests reflects the amazing work of our coaches on the fields and the demand for quality education for development through sport. Unfortunately we were unable to work with all the great partners who applied for our program.” Andy Old, Coach Advisory Board.
Coaches across Continents has already begun to accept partnership requests for 2012 and interested communities can apply by going to: http://coachesacrosscontinents.com/Partners/index_E.html
Goal 1: XARA soccer supports our new Hat-Trick Initiative in Ghana.
The Coaches across Continents partner program in Ghana is a youth oriented not-for-profit; non-government organization run by young people committed through empowerment of the youth of Africa with its office located in Accra the capital of Ghana. Started in 2005 but legally registered in 2008 in Ghana, Youth Icons is highly concerned about the continued deterioration of the status of the youth of Africa who face growing levels of unemployment, poverty, armed conflict, disease, functional illiteracy and substance abuse among other socio-economic challenges, despite global advances made in technology, medical research, entrepreneurship development, leisure and recreational facilities. Our work is geared towards empowering the youth to identify and develop their dreams and own the future. This we seek to achieve by enhancing the lives of youth by expanding learning opportunities available to them, pointing the way to a future full of hope and working together to create that future.
Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, the leader at Youth Icons, Ghana first heard about Coaches across Continents at the Peace and Sport program in Monaco in 2009 and presented a thoughtful partner request form. Nana and Nick Gates from Coaches across Continents met in December 2010 and the joint partnership will begin ‘on the field’ in October 2011.
XARA soccer from California have chosen to support this program as part of the Coaches across Continents “Give us a Game” program and all XARA staff will be working with CaC for 90 minutes on March 11th to promote this partnership.
For more information on the XARA “Give us a Game” program, go to: http://www.firstgiving.com/xara-soccer-give-us-a-game-project