Coaching for Conservation® (C4C)
Respect Yourself | Respect Each Other | Respect Your Environment
Coaching for Conservation (C4C) strives to conserve Botswana's natural resources by using sport to engender self-respect and inspire a generation of kids who care.
Our core values "Respect Yourself, Respect Each Other, and Respect Your Environment" aim to help children build self-esteem, engage in constructive social exchange and develop an awareness and sensitivity to the environment they live and play in.
We provide international coaches and mentors to build skills and provide young people with a positive outlook on life and the future. This includes teaching young adult Batswana coaching skills and techniques, as well as the importance of health, for them to become mentors for young people in their communities.
This short video will get you introduced to the C4C program. Learn about its basic ideas and hear what Prince William thinks about it:
The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust has supported the Shorobe village football club for the past nine years. We built positive relationships with the residents of Shorobe village who have come to view the Trust and its research program as their partners. It was this relationship, coupled with the realization of the power of sport that lead to the birth of C4C. The link between sport, health and conservation are not always immediately obvious, but C4C is tackling these issues with an innovative sports curriculum.
We use sport as a mechanism to inspire children to adopt personal and environmentally responsible behaviours. Sport is regarded as a vital tool for systematic and positive social change, and is an effective instrument to address challenges faced in communities worldwide. However, few programs have successfully found ways to use sport to engender change and even fewer have used this approach to address conservation issues. Coaching for Conservation is one of those very few.
Since its inception, 4,000 children have participated in various
aspects of the C4C program and have acquired an understanding of conservation
and the value of a healthy lifestyle.
The Animal Mentor Model is the teaching curriculum developed by C4C. It marries football skills to conservation and wildlife messages using games and skill sets that feature animal coaches as models. For example, when teaching fast dribbling and acceleration, the Cheetah coach is used to illustrate self respect and the need for speed and balance to survive in the wild.
Primary School Football Camp
The main goal of the Coaching for Conservation program is to create an exceptional football program for young school-age boys and girls to engage them and get their attention. Participants are taught basic sports and life skills, with emphasis on fun, sportsmanship and health. The flagship program of Coaching for Conservation is the annual weeklong July primary school football camp. Our first official camp, in 2004, consisted of two professional coaches from the USA running a two-week football clinic in the village of Shorobe and involved 20 kids.
Since then, the July football camp has greatly expanded. In 2012, we offered the program to all 24 primary schools in Maun and had the participation of over 720 children! A Coaching for Conservation basketball program is currently in development with the help of NBA coaches and players in an effort to encourage more girls to participate.
This video gives you some impressions about our annual camp in 2012:
Primary School Integration Program
In 2008, we developed and printed a special curriculumto accompany our program to tangibly link sport to wildlife conservation. This curriculum brings football skills (by using the globally respected Pyramid of Player Development of the Coerver Coaching method) and the conservation message into classrooms and sports fields year-round. We are not just playing football; we are using football as a mechanism to change kids' fundamental values about health, respect for themselves and respect for their environment. The curriculum links the skills learned on the field to these important life skills. (For example; passing = sharing, tricks and skills = independent thought).
Maun Conservation Education Centre
In 2008, with the help of a University of Southern California student group called A.L.I.V.E (Always living in View of the Environment), Coaching for Conservation built the foundation and the walls of the Maun Conservation Education Centre. In 2011, C4C opened the Centre which now boasts a fully stocked library, a science area, a football field, 2 dorm tents, bathrooms and a kitchen and offers a daily afterschool program that benefits all Standard 5 children, teachers and parents directly. Weekend programs and special events organised at the Centre where children have taken the initiative of inviting their family to participate in and learn about C4C's unique football and conservation curriculum have also been a big success. C4C's main aim is to inspire a generation of kids who care - about themselves, their future, and the environment they will grow up in - and these events initiated by the children shows we are still on the right path.
Impact of the Program
Social and Community Development
Creating a generation of kids who care
"Unlike most conservation education programs, C4C is not based on knowledge alone. We don't just tell kids to care, we create a situation where children learn about wildlife, then from them on the soccer field, in order to emphasize with these animals and their skills and challenges. Our data show that this program builds a relationship between the two and kids genuinely begin to care about the natural world and wildlife around them." Lesley McNutt
Through our program, we have forged an important partnership with the residents of Maun. The message of conservation and respect for self and the environment has transcended into the decision-making of rural development in Botswana.
Young people have indicated that participating in this program has had a positive influence on their life and has provided them with a positive outlook on their future. This new attitude will go a long way into helping Botswana overcome its HIV endemic.
We have also trained local Batswana to become educators and conservationists. This includes teaching young adult Batswana coaching skills and techniques, as well as the importance of health, for them to become mentors for young people in their communities.
And finally, our program has created numerous jobs for local Batswana.
HIV and AIDS
Coaching for Conservation addresses issues that are critical to counter the spread of HIV and AIDS, such as communication skills, gender equality and self-esteem.
- There is evidence that boys become more respectful when they become teammates
- Active involvement in sport is associated with delayed sexual involvement
- Involvement in sport appears to slow the progression of the disease in kids who are HIV-positive
Please download our C4C brochure for more information about our innovative programme.