Third Year with Play Soccer Zambia in Lusaka

August 9, 2012: A week after finishing up its first year program with the Bulldogs Sports Development Trust in Zimbabwe, Coaches Across Continents set off for Lusaka to work with Play Soccer Zambia for the third consecutive year.  Seventeen coaches representing seven different compounds of Lusaka attended training sessions over the course of the week, some who were old friends of CAC and some who were new. Regardless of their coaching experience there was a lot to learn in a short period of time, as CAC spent the week introducing the staff to a host of new games and coaching concepts.  Thursday’s session focused specifically on games that educate children about safe ways to spend and save their money, a part of CAC’s new initiative called Kicking for Change. In addition to introducing the Play Soccer staff to CAC’s new games, the coaches also participated in discussions about the qualities of a good coach and what makes practice fun. These conversations were especially valuable to the younger coaches and will help Play Soccer tweak their own curriculum in ways that will increase participation and the level of activity at their training sessions.

Following a quick break for lunch, the coaches were able to spend the afternoon with the Play Soccer staff at their individual sites. Emmy and Melanie really enjoyed jumping into a competitive game of possession with Moses’ group at Kalingalinga and playing human tug of war with the kids at the Kamanga site. It was especially fun for Brian to visit these sites as well, as he spent time working with Moses and Edith, the site managers of Kalingalinga and Kamanga in 2010. These sites were noticeably thriving and it was great to see the environment that has grown in the last two years as a result of extremely passionate and committed coaches. These sites had well over 100 kids and just a few soccer balls to go around, but managed to keep everyone organized and active for over two hours of fun. While the Play Soccer curriculum is only designed to meet twice a week, the success of the Kalingalinga site has led them to train every day. While 2012 is the last year that CAC will be working with Play Soccer Zambia, the enthusiasm of the coaches both old and new guarantees that things will continue to go well in Lusaka!

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