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Coaches Across Continents Among Finalists for NGO Peace of the Year Award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Coaches Across Continents, with the help of Seamus Malin '62 and Nick Gates '91, has been named a finalist for the NGO for Peace of the Year award at the 2011 Peace and Sport Awards, to be held Oct. 27 in Monaco. 

The program will be honored by Prince Albert of Monaco at the event after continuing its work in Africa last year, highlighted by working with former child soldiers in Uganda. Coaches Across Continents is one of three finalists for the 'Non-Governmental Organization for Peace of the Year' prize.

Sponsored by L'Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport (known as "Peace and Sport"), the Awards "reward initiatives and people who have outstandingly contributed to peace and social stability in the world through sport. The winners have implemented projects that are symbolic of what sport can accomplish to create links between divided or opposed communities."

The criteria for selection include:

  • The capacity to be innovative in implementing sport for peace
  • Involvement of local stakeholders
  • Emphasis placed on sustainability and transfer of skills
  • Adaptation to the local environment
  • Innovative thinking about what sport represents in the local context
  • Quality of monitoring and evaluation processes in the long term
  • Cooperation with national governmental and/or non-governmental institutions
  • Quantitative and qualitative data reflecting the opinions and aspirations of concerned individuals
  • Contribution made to the public debate on the crucial matter of sport for peace
  • Flexibility and creativity

Malin, a U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer, and Gates run Coaches Across Continents, which is an organization that allows experienced soccer coaches to work and assist developing regions using a designed soccer education curriculum.  This not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1990, is designed to develop young people to become modern leaders in their community. 

Current Crimson women's soccer player Sophie Legros has multiple summers during her collegiate career working with the program in Africa. Legros has visited Kenya and did extensive volunteer work, including demonstrating how soccer can change and improve the lives of young girls in Africa.

Legros will be appearing before a panel for the Weissman International Internship program Friday, Oct. 14. Legros received a Weissman grant for the summer of 2009 to visit Kenya, where she starting a program with Friends of Orpahns, a rehabilitation center for former child soldiers and sex slaves.

Legros's teammates, Alicia Johnson and Alexandra Millet, as well as Richard Smith and John Bryan from the Harvard men's soccer program, have also volunteered their summers with the Coaches Across Continents program.