Hat-Trick Initiative

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Hat-Trick Initiative

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Coaches across Continents uses football as an educational tool to teach HIV/AIDS prevention, Female Empowerment and Conflict Resolution. CaC creates partnerships in impoverished communities and utilizes a train-the-trainer model to create sustainable change. CaC doesn't train how to coach football, we teach how to use football to coach about life!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In 2010 nearly 400,000 children living in sub-Saharan Africa will become affected with HIV, 4.5 million will die before the age of 5, and approximately 120,000 are participating in armed conflicts, some as young as 7. Additionally, in sub-Saharan Africa 32% of girls have never attended school, only 17% are enrolled in secondary school, and they represent 75% of all young people living with HIV/AIDS. Girls are also often subjected to child marriage and are victims of sexual violence at an alarming rate. CaC partners with existing programs, schools and NGOs in developing communities to train teachers/coaches on how to use football as a tool to educate children on critical life issues – HIV/AIDS, Female Empowerment and Conflict Resolution. The partnerships result in a new generation of community leaders, both teachers and children, who are able to respectfully examine local traditions and make informed positive choices about their futures.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Coaches across Continents is unique in the way it utilizes sport for social development. While many programs use sports and games with children, they’re often played as a warm-up to the actual lessons. Instead, CaC uses sport as the lesson. We don’t play football or a game and then sit the children down and lecture about HIV/AIDS, instead we play ‘condom tag’ and infuse fun and activity with the learning of critical information. Additionally, CaC has a unique way of building communities’ capacity. All of our program partnerships begin with a community contacting us because they have specific needs and believe that CaC can help to meet them. Once contacted, an application, including a needs assessment is completed by the potential partner, conversations are had, and then a decision is made about the creation of a partnership. Understanding that change takes time, all partnerships are created for three years. We begin our work by using our Train-the-Trainers model with local teachers/coaches. CaC doesn’t teach local teachers how to coach football, we teach them how to coach about life! CaC trains teachers/coaches on how to use football as a tool to educate children on Health and Wellness/HIV-AIDS, Female Empowerment and Conflict Resolution. CaC is also unique because of our use of volunteers. Professional athletes, coaches, medical students, and others travel at their own expense to some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities to implement the program. In 2010 CaC volunteers will give over 15,520 hours of time, equaling $356,960+.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Since its inception, CaC has worked with over 300 teachers/coaches and 30,000 children in Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania. In 2009, CaC won Beyond Sport’s Global Award for Sport for Social Development (Best new Program). In 2010, CaC will serve 90,000 children and educate thousands of teachers in the aforementioned countries as well as in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and Haiti. We continue to receive requests for the program from around the globe and are creating a strategic plan for sustainable growth. ESPN’s magazine recently featured an article about CaC and Harvard Magazine will highlight the program in its summer publication. CaC has recently partnered with The François-Xavier Bagnoud Center (FXB) for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, the first academic center to focus exclusively on the practical dynamic between the issues of health and human rights. This unique partnership is designed to develop new research, evaluation and baseline studies of sport and social development. Evidence of CaC’s program impact points to:  An increase in HIV/AIDS awareness, safer sex practices, and more testing;  An increase in female confidence and empowerment;  An increase in school attendance of CaC program participants.
About You
Coaches across Continents
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Caoches across Continents


, KI

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Coaches across Continents

Organization Phone


Organization Address

24 ST. Martins Drive, Unit 10, Marlborough, MA 01752

Organization Country

, MA, Suffolk County

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, KI

Do you have a patent for this idea?


Partnership is at the core of CaC’s model. In each community CaC partners with locally based schools and NGOs that have requested and will ultimately run and sustain the program. All partnerships are tailored to build capacity and meet specifically articulated community needs. Partnerships are based on mutual respect as CaC recognizes the unique perspective local partners bring, and partners appreciate the educational skills and wider perspectives CaC contribute.

In addition to our community partners, CaC has partnerships with businesses (Varsity Spirit, Accenture), football clubs (Middlesbrough, Harvard Soccer), and NGOs (Beyond Sport, Kickabout).

Along with creating new and maintaining current partnerships, CaC is building organizational capacity to ensure success. We have recently created new systems, processes, and broadened our donor base and are expanding our Board of Directors and advisory boards.


This year Coaches across Continents will work with 90,000 children including former child soldiers, girl sex slaves, and orphans in Uganda. We also work with children who face similar challenges in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. CaC ensures success by creating long-term sustainable partnerships that build communities’ capacity. These three-year partnerships, our ‘Hat-Trick Initiatives’ with local schools and NGOs help increase children’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS and its prevention, increase students’ school attendance and build self-esteem, hope, and confidence, especially for girls. Local teachers and coaches are also transformed through program participation. They gain skills, knowledge, new teaching pedagogy, and a support network. "We have attended other football training programs in Kenya but they do not address the real needs of our communities, they only teach professional football. Coaches across Continents is unique because it helps communities grow." Festus Juma, Oyugis, Kenya

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Coaches across Continents’ program is predicated on a three-year model. Understanding that change and self-sustainability take time, all of our partnerships, called ‘Hat-Trick Initiatives,’ last three years. Throughout the three years CaC’s international volunteer coaches travel to our partner communities and teach local teachers and other adults the CaC curriculum, build communities’ capacity, and work directly with children. When the three years are complete communities are running the program themselves and can use technology to keep in touch with CaC to receive support and technical assistance. They also become part of CaC’s worldwide network.

In 2008, CaC ran its first program in Kigoma, Tanzania. In 2009 we ran three Hat-Trick Initiatives in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia. In 2010 we expanded exponentially and are running 16 programs in 7 countries. Utilizing our train-the-trainer model we will reach thousands of teachers/coaches and 90,000+ children this year.

From an organizational perspective the next three years will be pivotal for CaC. From the outset CaC Founder’s strategy was to pilot and self-fund the organization in order to develop a successful model that uses football for social development. With that now accomplished and with requests for partnerships far exceeding CaC’s current capacity, over the next three years we must build our organizational infrastructure, grow our year-round staff, increase and diversify our donor base, and solidify our impact measurement and metrics. As a leader in the field of sport for social development we also have a commitment to continually develop and share best practices and continue to partner with other NGOs and educational institutions (Harvard, Northeastern University, Stanford) to further academic work in the field.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

CaC is proud of its recent successes, and we know we can do more. Currently the demand for the program far exceeds the supply; within two days of announcing our first project in Kenya we received five more partner requests.

As mentioned above, the first two+ years of CaC’s existence was primarily funded and conducted by the Founder along with the Board and some very committed expert volunteers. Based on requests for services and the seemingly endless need, CaC’s three-year strategic growth plan projects that CaC will be running 46 Hat-Trick Initiatives in 15 countries by 2012. As such, and while the program is widely acknowledged to be effective and impactful, especially in this economic environment, funding and organizational capacity are our main challenges.

While CaC’s unique use of volunteers - professional footballers and coaches, recent college graduates, doctors, graduate students, etc… - all of whom volunteer a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of approximately six months and pay their own way, are an incredible asset to the organization and help us run a very lean organization that optimizes all contributions, at this point in our development, we need a professional paid staff and more robust infrastructure. CaC’s long-term success will be contingent on our ability to raise funds, create corporate partnerships, recruit and support volunteers, manage, evaluate and continually improve the program, engage and grow the Board, and continue to be a leader in the Sport for Social Development field.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?


What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?

, KI

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


If yes, provide organization name.

Education Authority in Kigoma/Ujiji

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

CaC’s entire model is based on partnerships. For every Project we have a local NGO partner who initiates the partnership. All partnerships are tailored to build capacity and meet specific community needs because we believe that the best way to run a successful program is to have it locally owned and sustained.

CaC also has partnerships with businesses that have donated over $100,000 of in-kind gear and services (Varsity Spirit, Accenture), football clubs (Middlesbrough, Harvard Soccer) that have provided volunteers, and NGOs (Beyond Sport, Kickabout) with whom we share best practices, ideas and resources. We also have a partnership with Harvard’s FXB Center that is helping with our evaluation and assessment, and have connected with Northeastern’s Sport in Society Center. Both of these organizations on are the cutting edge of sport and social development.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

CaC needs to build a professional staff, raise funds, and re-brand and update our website.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

“In Mozambique and after 4 days working with and researching a community that had built up around a garbage tip, a group of boys were playing football. As I passed, a 14 year-old boy whom I had worked with all week scored a goal and turned to me and said ‘Frank Lampard, Chelsea’ and that was the moment when I knew the real power of football. Prior to this outburst he hadn’t said a word to me in English. So there, in the middle of literally a dump, I saw how kids were actively engaged in and enamored with football. It was then and there that it all came together and I knew that the best way to help kids learn and communities transform was to train teachers and coaches how to use football to teach critical life skills.” ~ Nick Gates, Founder of CaC

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

World traveler, life-long footballer, educator, former Business of Football Executive for Middlesbrough Football Club in the Premier League, and Harvard University graduate Nick Gates founded CaC in 2008. Inspired by his travels to 65 countries, passion for education and children, love for football, and desire to make a difference in the world, Nick has combined these and created CaC. While the field of Sport for Social Development is still in its infancy, Nick, CaC’s Founder, has been working at this for 20+ years. He frequently partners with football associations, educational institutions, and others to speak at conferences and serve as a resource. Nick consistently shares best practices and promotes how sport can create positive social change across the globe.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Beyond Sport