Coaching 4 Conservation

WHO WE ARE: Coaching for Conservation® Program of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust. It is not always obvious, at first, how sport and conservation might be connected, but as Prince William said “Coaching for Conservation is a brilliant idea, it is brilliant because it is simple. If we just stop and think, we all love sport, and most of us love animals, so by combining the two, we learn to value both”. HRH, Prince William, Maun, Botswana, 2010.

Coaching for Conservation® (C4C) is a wildlife conservation initiative aimed at inspiring children to be more empathetic towards wildlife and the struggles they face. It is based on two fundamental principles: 1. you cannot value something until you know something about it (take CECIL the lion as the prime example of this!!), and 2. learning takes place best in an interactive and fun environment, and when delivered by great mentors. Our mission is to conserve natural resources and wildlife by using sport to engender self-respect and inspire a generation of kids who care. To address belief systems, to inspire hope, and to instill a confidence in the potential of children and their ability to change the world they live in, C4C has developed a programme that uses two mechanisms for teaching; one is to harness the power of sport and all the inherent value that sport provides in terms of health, fitness, teamwork and pride, and second is to bring the animals we are trying to protect, onto the sports field, as virtual coaches and mentors to learn from.

We do this through C4C’s unique Learning from Wildlife model that presents the magnificent wildlife as animal icons that each possess highly developed skills. Like elite athletes, these learned skills and strategies help each animal to thrive and to be resilient in times of adversity, just as our children need to be. The iconic charismatic mega fauna of Africa exemplify these characteristics. Lions for example, work as a team to hunt successfully, just as a soccer team must work together on the field. Cheetahs naturally teach us about speed, balance and agility.

The keystone message that C4C stands for is simply just to CARE. C4C was takes young people on a journey of knowledge, expression, teamwork and understanding the value of self respect, respect for others and respect for the environment. Our goal is move children from kids being told they should Care… to kids who do Care.

WHY WE NEED YOU: Youth needs to be targeted and engaged beyond the normal education process if there is to be an improvement in concern and action by a) giving them a choice to act and b) the tools to act well.

Coaching for Conservation is a proven model that engages children at the ideal age where they are cognitively aware enough to understand the concepts and issues, and have not yet defined their own personal belief system and ethos. It is the only time to allow them to make a choice to care and to define their own appreciations and values. To date, we have reached 7000 children in Botswana, and 1800 in South Africa. To affect real change, we need to expand our reach exponentially.

We hope to make Coaching for Conservation® the new metric by which to engage and influence young people across the country and across the globe, to become Kids Who Care. Every small contribution helps us reach another child.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR OUR CHARITY: BPCT employs and supports: 19 plus 2 volunteers – this includes wildlife biologists, anthropologist, chemical ecologists, research assistants, maintenance operations and logistics personnel, research camp staff , PhD and Masters students In addition, Coaching for Conservation employs and supports: 8 plus volunteers – these include professional educators, sports coaches, facilitators and coaching volunteers.


  • $10 / £7         soccer ball for a primary school learner
  • $20 / £14       a cuddly toy wild animal for C4C learners to remind them of what they are learning About, From and in order to Help.
  • $30 / £21       Branded hat, water bottle and t-shirt for the C4C learners to keep
  • $50 / £33       Soccer equipment for a program (soccer goals, pinnies and cones)
  • $75 / £50       Educational posters, videos and books to donate to classrooms
  • $100 / £66    Cost for one primary school learner to attend the full 6 week, 20 hour after-school program
  • $200 / £133  A Rhino RAP or Cheetah RAP (rapid awareness program) for a whole school assembly
  • $250 / £166  C4C workbooks for a classroom of primary school learners
  • $300 / £200  Healthy lunches for a class of 50 learners for 6 weeks
  • $500 / £332  A day field trip to a wildlife reserve for a Grade 5 (age 10/11) class of learners -often providing their first wildlife experience
  • $1000 / £666                        Coaches salaries for a month
  • $1500 / £1,000         Transportation costs for 200 learners for full 6 week, 20 hour after-school program.

Coaching 4 Conservation Website.
Twitter: C4C_Africa
Facebook: CoachingforConservation

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Lesley’s introduction to Africa was in the late 1980s working for World Wildlife Fund in Madagascar and exploring east and southern Africa as a white water kayaker.  Captivated by South Africa, she returned in 1993 to establish a small resource management consulting company out of Johannesburg. In 1994 she met JW “Tico” McNutt who was working on his PhD in Animal Behaviour on African Wild Dogs out of University of Calilfornia, Davis. They married in 1996. Lesley, originally from Ontario, Canada went back to complete a Masters in Development Anthropology at McGill University in Montreal. She and Tico have two boys that they have raised in their remote research camp in the Okavango Delta. This camp is still the home of their ever growing organization – The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust ( dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and wildlife spaces through research and applied conservation initiatives.  Lesley’s own research focused on human-wildlife conflict and the relationships between people and protected areas, but she always struggled with a concern that they were not getting the most impact out of their conservation efforts using traditional practices. In 2003, she spearheaded Coaching for Conservation® (C4C), an initiative whose primary mission is to inspire Kids to Care. It does so by influencing fundamental core values and getting kids interested and involved in conservation through organized sport through their unique Learning from Wildlife Model. The focus on “Respect Yourself, Respect each Other, and Respect your Environment” aims to build self-esteem, engage in constructive social exchange and develop an awareness of the environment around them. C4C has grown tremendously over a decade with the generous support of sponsors, especially Investec, and has now reached over 8,000 kids through Botswana and South Africa. Lesley continues to inspire children to become KIDS WHO CARE.

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