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Wednesday
Jul092014

Coaches Across Continents

I recently wrote a piece discussing the challenges of adding critical pedagogy to Sport for Development programs due to the obstacles these programs face. Simply garnering community support for girl’s athletics, attaining and shipping equipment, and then developing program infrastructure are giant hurdles. When looking at the day-to-day issues, coach training and pedagogy too often become lower priorities on the list. However, it is the coaches with their incredible cultural insight and local knowledge who make the program possible. Inherent to their role is the task of supporting participants in challenging times.

 

The coaches are in the trenches improving their communities and as such, shouldn’t we be whole-heartedly investing in them? The first week of June, we did just this when we partnered with Coaches Across Continents, a non-profit organization that trains coaches in the SDP field. Forty-five coaches and potential coaches from BGF and other sporting programs within the region attended the workshop hosted by Breaking Ground. The curriculum covered various methods coaches can use to address topics such as health, conflict resolution, and social inclusion through football. CAC will continue to work with these dedicated coaches for three years.

 

The coaches responded positively to the program. BGF Coach Mamboula Nziengle Prisca stated, “Before I had the idea of associating social issues with sport, but I didn’t have strong arguments for approaching parents and other interested community members. Now I can explain that this is a life tool for our children. My role as the coach isn’t just about sport, but to raise social awareness.” Former professional footballer turned coach, Aoudo Serge Nico, agreed that the program was beneficial remarking, “This training helped bridge the gap between sport and social education. It’s a great tool for football programs in the region.”

 

Breaking Ground is based on community initiative. Thank you to CAC for giving BGF’s coaches new ideas and tools to apply to their community. This is an exciting time and we look forward to seeing the program develop! 

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