January 15, 2014. Coaches Across Continents is always on the move – Fact. Our team meetings mostly consist of deftly planned Skype sessions connecting us from Hawaii to England to somewhere in the depths of Africa. But, for the first time, the majority of our staff members came together in one place: the newly founded CAC Global Headquarters in Orlando, Florida (thanks to our wonderful partners XL Soccer World). Over the course of these three jam-packed 10-hour days, senior staff members from England, Scotland, Belgium, and the USA put our game-faces on and effectively mapped our future.
When planning for what lies ahead, it is imperative to reflect on the past, our history, where we came from. It’s hard to believe that in 2008 CAC was running just one program in one country – Kigoma, Tanzania. In 2013 we had programs in 20 countries, 51 partner programs, over 2,100 trained coaches, thousands upon thousands of ‘Ronaldos’ and ‘Martas’ and ‘Messis’, and an inconceivable number of air miles later, here we have the CAC envisioned by our fearless leader, Nick Gates.
But what we have realized is that the world of CAC is, in one word, unique. That is to say, it is rather difficult to understand what we do from the outside looking in. After your first day on the field in northern Uganda, or southern India, or rural Haiti, however, and all of a sudden it clicks – you have one of those “Ohhh!” moments and no longer think your crazy friend who works for CAC is “running around Africa playing soccer” or “holding soccer camps for little African children”.
There had to be a better way to tell our story.
There was, and is, and thanks to the hard work of one of our staff members – Adam Burgess – with help from the Taiji Group, our story has become very clear. With refortified mission, vision, objective, beliefs, principles, approach, personality, and promise, CAC is ready to launch into 2014, sharing our story off-field, while living it every day on-field.
The Zenith now marks this turning point in CAC history; the moment when our founder unveiled the final product in our collaborative effort towards establishing the CAC brand. It would have been a proud moment for a stranger walking in off the street. So imagine a room filled with about ten people who are so invested in what Nick has created (including his contributing and immensely supportive parents, Judith and Bill), to the point of no return. It was a great moment.
The importance of telling our story encompasses all the work put in to making this organization what it is today. From Tanzania to Sierra Leone, to Indonesia, Nepal, Jamaica, and Colombia. From all the coaches of past, to all the coaches of present, and all the coaches to come. From Skills by Ronaldo, Marta, and Messi to Skills by Mia Hamm, Sawa, Neymar, Xavi, and Nkwocha. From Sport for Social Impact to Self-Directed Learning. From Chance to Choice.
Coaches Across Continents believes in the possibility of a better world. We trust in the capacity for humans to change. We thrive on cooperation and respect. We are inspired by the promise of equality. And we live and die on the all-mighty power of the beautiful game of football.
Now, back on the field!
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.“ – Plato