This week’s blog is written by Jazz Bishop, International Fellow and East Belfast coordinator at PPI-Northern Ireland.
The 2017 Jingle Ball Tournament was a huge Success! The turnout of parents that came out to watch and support their children was unbelievable! It was, by far, the best turnout I have seen at any event we have had since I arrived in Northern Ireland last year. It was so great to see more parents getting involved. Thank you to all of the parents. It is just as important to me to see the parents involved as it is for their children.
All of the teams were full of energy as they prepared for the event. They definitely brought the juice to the Tournament! Unfortunately, East did not have a Seniors girls’ team; however, we did have a Junior boys’ team for the first time since my arrival. At every other tournament we have done I would have a Junior Boy from West come up to me asking if we had a Junior Boy’s team in East. He was disappointed when we wouldn’t have one, but this time around I was able to tell him we have a team! That was just as exciting as a coach to experience as it must have been for the players.
Jingle Ball seemed to go off without a hitch. Ironically, some of the PPI staff, including me, felt as if we were forgetting something as we prepared for the Tournament. It felt as if we were packing for a trip and you know something is missing; like when you know you forgot to pack something important. However, it was one of the best tournaments I have had the pleasure of partaking in with Peace Players.
It was extremely exciting to witness all participants not only cheering for their own team, but they were cheering for the other sides of the city as well. Jingle Ball truly brought all sides of the city together for a great day of basketball / Fun / and excitement. Even though different teams represented different parts of the city, in the end it seemed like we were all: One Team, One Dream.
A huge congratulations to all teams involved in Jingle Ball! Thank you to everyone that helped to make this a most memorable event for everyone involved. I am sure some are already looking forward to our next tournament, Summer Jam 2018!