Our Story

PLAYING FOR PEACE (2000 – 2006)

Shortly after graduating from Catholic University, Sean Tuohey spent time coaching youth basketball in Northern Ireland. In a region where young people are separated by the neighborhoods they live in, the schools they attend, and even the sports they play, Sean recognized the unifying power of basketball, which was perceived as one of the few neutral sports there.

A South African police officer suggested that what worked in Northern Ireland could work on an even greater scale in post-apartheid South Africa. With $7,000 raised from friends and family, the brothers launched Playing for Peace (PFP). Working hand-in-hand local coaches and a handful of friends, the program grew rapidly. By 2003, PFP had not only returned to Northern Ireland, but it also earned its first institutional grant from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In 2005 and 2006, PFP launched programs in Israel and the West Bank and Cyprus. In 2006, PFP began serving as a capacity builder, advisor and trainer to other organizations including training a group of youth soccer coaches in Afghanistan.


In 2007, Playing for Peace became PeacePlayers International (PPI) to reflect a new, worldwide scope. In 2008, PPI launched its first domestic program, helping New Orleans re-engage its youth after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina – a program that has since spun off. In 2015, PPI launched its first program in Washington, DC.

Building on several ad hoc projects, PPI began formally offering training and consulting services under its Sports and Peace Innovation Network (PPI – SPIN). Since 2010, PPI – SPIN has served organizations working in 15 countries spread over five continents, including:

  • 2010: South Africa – Indigo Youth Movement
  • 2011: Morocco, Ireland & Bulgaria – Anatomy of Peace Training
  • 2011: Tajikistan – International Sports Programming Initiative
  • 2011: Kyrgyzstan – Innovations in Coaching Kids
  • 2012: Argentina – Sports & Peace Innovation Network Training
  • 2013: Chicago, Illinois – Peace on the Court
  • 2013: Yemen – Promoting Youth Civic Engagement
  • 2013: Brazil – Sports & Peace Innovation Network Training
  • 2013: Switzerland – UN Sport for Development Camp
  • 2014: Ethiopia – Worldwide Orphans Soccer League
  • 2014: Sweden – United Nations Sport for Development Camp
  • 2015: Portland, Oregon – Peace on the Court
  • 2015: Northern Ireland – Sport & Diversity Program
  • 2015: Kansas City – Police Athletic League
  • 2015: Bosnia and Herzegovina – Youth Sports Coaches Training
Andrew VinesOur Story