GGC and Sports United’s Volleyball Exchange

By |December 18th, 2013|

As adults we often do not have the time and space to play, laugh and learn like we once did as children. On December 12th, a delegation of 14 Volleyball coaches from China was given the opportunity to do just this, all while learning about the importance and power of Sport for Development. Great emphasis was placed on creating a fun and positive learning experience for all involved by GGC’s Ellen Cosgrove and Kelsey Moore. During the session, the coaches were taken through a variety of icebreakers, games and volleyball drills that were not only a blast for all participants but provided valuable life skills.  Coaches were able to see that a simple game of “Find a new spot if” could allow those involved to get to know each other better and that drills such as “Serving Circles” provided space for skill development on and off the volleyball court.  Fun was had by all and the coaches were reminded by Coach Kelsey that if we as adults were having this much fun, just think how great these games would be for the children and youth they coach!

Thank you to all the coaches, Sport United and George Mason University for making this session possible!

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

By |December 15th, 2013|

Nelson Mandela once said that sport could “create hope where there was once despair.” This might sound hyperbolic on the surface, but let’s not forget that this came in the midst of the former South African president’s 18-year prison sentence on Robben Island, an isolated hole where South Africa’s apartheid regime stowed away political prisoners and other state dissidents.
But even in the worst of conditions, sport inherently served as an inspiration and source of hope.  While in prison, Mandela helped organized soccer matches among inmates, which eventually became so anticipated, guards had to build a physical structure so other prisoners could not actually see the matches and take enjoyment from them. But this didn’t stop Mandela from believing in the power of sport to lift people out of dark places.
A few years after his release from prison and his subsequent rise to the highest political office in South Africa, Mandela placed complete and utter faith in a traditionally all-white Rugby team, knowing that he might be one of the only people on the planet that could tow the delicate balance of not ostracizing South Africa’s white population while convincing the long-oppressed black community that this team could potentially serve as a symbol of national unity.  The unlikely South African victory in the Rugby world cup in 1995 was nothing short of a miracle.  Whether Mandela believed in miracles or not, there is no denying his belief that sport could accomplish miraculous things. He believed that sport had the power to build character and strengthen the individual, the community, the nation, and the world.
Nelson Mandela certainly was one of the most prolific, inspiring people of our time. We at Global Game Changers are proud to live […]

Vaughn College of Aeronautics College Freshman Orientation

By |September 1st, 2013|

What thoughts come to your mind when you think of your first day on a college campus?  That uneasy feeling of meeting many people, not sure of who will be your friend, what the mood will be, how you will fit in.  So many questions and uncertainties; so much potential for long lasting, life affirming relationships.

Global Game Changers was thrilled to be a part of easing that potentially uncomfortable freshman on campus experience by running two college freshman orientations recently at Vaughn College of Aeronautics in Queens, New York.  Using our expertise in sports for development as the backdrop, we ran a series of highly interactive, team building, barrier breaking games and activities designed to help these incoming students get to know one another and have fun doing so.

In so doing, our content set out to take down the wall that is common in young adults’ first interactions by having them engage in games requiring communication and PLAY.  A series of stations including (the now famous) “monster”, ball tag, concentric circle ball passing, and “minefield,” were sandwiched by getting-to-know-you name games, relay races, and a group wide game of scramble.  The theme for the orientations was “Warrior,” the school’s mascot, and each subgroup had to determine what Warrior meant to them, and create a physical manifestation of that theme to be presented to the entire group later in the orientation.

This was our second visit to Vaughn College and we embrace our new relationship with the school.   We look forward to partnering with them again in the near future.

We are: Warriors!




Global Game Changers in Panama

By |June 21st, 2013|

From June 6-18, Global Game Changers participated in a cultural exchange program operating under the auspices of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which allocated funding to FHI 360 (Family Health International) to organize and implement a trip to Panama. Barrios, (Neighborhood in Spanish) is a unique program designed in three parts to maintain a positive relationship between the United States and Panama.  The first stage of the program is to bring civil society practitioners and community organizers to Washington, DC for an educational visit with Sport-For-Development experts, non-profit executives, and community center leaders. The second part of the program then sends a delegation down to Panama to present workshops and to consult and assist in the development of new potential programs.  Finally, small grants are given to the participants in Panama to implement their projects.

The American delegation to Panama consisted of five experts on Sport-For-Development, inner-city community service, women’s empowerment and sport psychology. Each of the presenters had unique experiences and perspectives, providing a wealth of collective knowledge that served as a foundation for the trip. Global Game Changers co-founder Josh Simon represented the GGC team on the delegation to Panama.

On Tuesday June 11th, Josh conducted a presentation and workshop on “Conflict Resolution through Sport,” beginning the two-hour session with an introduction to Global Game Changers, providing a brief overview of the company’s origins and our previous work with PeacePlayers International, as well as our continuing work with SportsUnited, a public diplomacy initiative of the State Department. He then delivered a context and explanation of Sport-For-Development, and discussed best practices with session participants. For the workshop component of the session, Josh utilized the help of some of the Panamanians that participated on the trip […]

Building Program Models with The Barrios – Panama International Exchange

By |May 21st, 2013|

10 Sport Coaches and Administrators from Panama concluded their 10 day exchange Friday, with a tailor made Global Game Changers (GGC) project development workshop. After spending almost two weeks meeting with sport foundations, government officials, professional sport franchises, and non-profit experts, the participants were ready to put their ideas on paper. Led by GGC partner Julie Younes, participants worked their ideas through a project model framework, deciding on goals, objectives and activities. Groups were also tasked with thinking about resources, partnerships, and a program timeline. Lastly, GGC trainers outlined the on-going importance of data collection for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Vaughn College Lock-In

By |May 17th, 2013|

Vaughn College Lock-In
Global Game Changers (GGC) brought energy, sport and much more to the Vaughn College’s Lock-In event on March,15th in Brooklyn NY. Nine GGC trainers suited up for the large gathering of close to 80 students. GGC activities engaged students athletically and mentally. Participants were challenged to work together in small groups in the ‘Monster” and “Blind Dribbling” activities. Throughout the two-hour event the GGC instructors set a tone of high energy and positivity (a GGC trademark) which was quickly reflected in the students interactions with one another. The conclusion of the event saw one of the largest and most exciting games of “Scramble” perhaps ever played. Of course, all students came together and put their hands in for the final cheer: “1,2,3, Warriors!”

Brazil Basketball Delegation Partakes In GGC Clinic

By |March 26th, 2013|

Whether encouraging one another in a shooting drill or hustling through an intense scrimmage, where high-fives and encouragement counted as much as points on the scoreboard, Global Game Changers (GGC) engaged a dozen youth and two coaches from Brazil in a high-energy, positive training focused on leadership, communication and team-building skills on Sunday, Feb. 10 in Arlington, Va.

Hailing from different neighborhoods of Sao Paolo, the Brazil’s largest city, the trainees enjoyed a three-hour program beginning with a broad discussion of what traits make excellent leaders on and off the basketball court — and how leaders work to improve those traits both in and out of sports.

The GGC trainers — Michael Vaughan-Cherubin, Josh Simon, David Grant, Andrew Mincheff — further focused the group on specific behaviors of good leaders including productive communication skills, emphasizing a 5-1 ratio of positivity to constructive criticism, and leading by example, through exhibiting solid work ethic and focus in practicing one’s athletic craft.

With those concepts firmly in mind, the group worked on coaching one another in shooting fundamentals, the challenges of being an effective leader and follower in running and dribbling drills, the need to build trust through a partner activity involving blind dribbling through an obstacle course, and a final scrimmage emphasizing competition as a way to build relationships through positive feedback and the ability to coach one’s teammates constructively.

The group of teens and their coaches came to GGC as part of a three-week program focused on using sports for development sponsored by the US State Department.

– Written By David Grant




Leadership Clinic with Vaughn College Students

By |December 29th, 2012|

On Saturday December 1st, at the 92nd Street Y’s May Center, Global Game Changers (GGC) hosted a group of students from Vaughn College.

This group, mostly freshman, embarked on a basketball, teambuilding, and leadership clinic administered by GGC partners Michael Vaughan Cherubin, Julie Younes, and Danny Ourian. The clinic began by creating an inclusive place to play through positive reinforcement, groups cheers, high energy and of course, lots of high-fives.  The clinic continued as participants learned about one another (such as hobbies, birth date, favorite movie, number of siblings) as they simultaneously learned the fundamental basketball skill of passing. Throughout the remainder of the clinic,  the Vaughn College students where led through a montage of basketball drills and team building activities, all geared at uniting the group, building trust, and developing leadership skills.

GGC is happy to thank Vaughn College and the 92nd Street Y for helping make this event possible.

GGC Trains Coaches from South Sudan

By |November 21st, 2012|

Earlier this week, Global Game Changers (GGC) hosted a clinic for five basketball coaches and sport administrators from newly established South Sudan.  The clinic focused first on identifying the goals of each of the participants teams and programs.  In order to do this, we introduced new concepts in Sport-For-Development, which used a tree as a metaphor to describe the “logic” of Sport-For-Development programs. Participants built this metaphorical tree – from roots being program “activities” – to the trunk which stood for negative behaviors that wanted “changes” – and finally, branches which symbolized program “goals.”  The clinic then went on the court as GGC partners encouraged participants to modify their “game” (in this case basketball), to reach their program or team goals. Basketball drills old and new were taught with a new spin – a specific development outcome.  As always with GGC events, fun was a major theme. “Spontaneous hand clapping”, positive encouragement and high fives were the norm.

As always, a special thanks to George Mason and SportsUnited for their assistance with the clinic.

Indian-Pakistani Soccer Training

By |September 16th, 2012|


Washington, DC – Global Game Changers held a sport for development clinic today for 20  female soccer players and young coaches from India and Pakistan.  The clinic, held at Rock Creek Park near DuPont Circle, Washington DC, featured a variety of drills which aimed at teaching the young women not only how to improve technically, but also provided tools for them to bring back to their communities and improve the lives of those they train.  Included among those tools are concepts about how sports can be used as a vehicle for change.  Our aim, at Global Game Changers, has been to serve as a resource for individuals, coaches, organizations and communities that share the ideal that sports is a powerful vehicle for impacting positive change, growth, and interaction.

Today was a shining example of that aim.

From the onset, Coach Mike and Coach Josh had great energy and built terrific rapport with the participants.  After a series of warm-up drills, we asked the group what elements of their lives could be developed using sports.  We were thrilled with some of their responses:

“How to communicate with one another in school or at home.”

“Sports can help us learn to trust each other better.”

“When we play sports in our village, we feel more confident about ourselves.”

Communication.  Trust.  Confidence.  These are some of the traits these young ladies believe have improved and can continue to improve because of the role that sports has played in their lives.  We couldn’t agree more!

Upon completing our “Bring It In” chat, we moved onto working on higher level soccer techniques including headers, chest traps, volleys, and footwork.  Coach Mike – a former collegiate goalkeeper and current Community Relations Manager with Major League Soccer team DC […]