This weeks blog is written by PPI-NI operations manager, Debbie Byrne.
Following a fantastic Christmas break, we were straight back to work here at PPI-NI. The first full weekend of January (6th + 7th) myself and sessional coach Adam Ryan were at East Coast Adventure for a residential with a group of young people from Larne. East Coast Adventure were great hosts. They had zip-lining and archery available for us and were very hospitable. The young people and Dean from Larne YMCA, Adam, and the staff at East Coast Adventure were loads of fun. What a great way to start 2018 at PeacePlayers! However, it wasn’t just all play though.
The residential was used an opportunity to train the young people on how to deliver sports based cross community relations programmes. As such, Adam and I delivered an Open College Network accredited training course, Promoting Diversity Through Sport level 2. This provided the young people with new tools, which we hope will support them to deliver PeacePlayer-esque programming with their peers in their own areas. I was really impressed with how engaged and ready to work these young people were. They seemed really excited and prepared to work with younger children in the future.
A few of the you people
Here’s some quick background on why we are connected with Larne YMCA and these young people. This residential is a part of a larger programme of work called TEAMS (Together Everyone Achieves More through sport). The programme is funded by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council through their Peace IV programme. Without going into too much detail, this scheme has us working in the 3 areas of Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena over the next 3 years and involves young people being trained to organise and deliver cross community programming using sport as a vehicle.
I was buzzing after such a great weekend. The young people and YMCA from Larne are a great connection for us here in Belfast as was East Coast Adventures. I’ve already begun to scheme how we can bring our own young people from Belfast there.