PeacePlayers United States hosted their regional Friendship Games from August 5th – 9th. The event brought together youth and coaches from all five of PeacePlayers U.S. cities: Baltimore, Maryland, Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan and Los Angeles, California, under the theme “finding your voice”. Attendees had the chance to visit two of our U.S. program cities, Chicago and Detroit, and take part in on-court basketball training, off-court leadership workshops and city-based tours.
Here is what some of the PeacePlayers U.S. youth had to say about the experience:
“This summer with PeacePlayers was enjoyable for not only me, but for everyone else that attended our summer camp in Brooklyn AND the Friendship Games in Chicago and Detroit!! It was really cool meeting other fellow PeacePlayers from Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and LA and even international PeacePlayers coaches from Cyprus, South Africa, Israel, and Northern Ireland. Meeting new people/fellow PeacePlayers made me feel better speaking to others with no problem and having a chance to learn new things outside and inside of basketball. In one of the workshops, we were given an issue in our community and we had to work with our teammates to come up with ideas/solutions. My team got “Homelessness and Joblessness”, a topic which is a big issue in Brownsville where we are from. A lot of times people want to work but do not know where to look or who to talk to, it was cool to talk through that further as a group. I’m so glad I got to attend the first-ever Friendship Games and low-key hope I can attend more of these. It was a great feeling being on my team AKA ‘the Humble Beast’. It was all a wonderful experience.” – Javonn, PeacePlayers Brooklyn
“Friendship Games was Dope. We got a chance to meet others from different cities who are part of PeacePlayers. I didn’t think it was going to be fun at first because everyone stayed to themselves and didn’t know each other and what we were really getting together for. Chicago especially was a little hard when we first got there because we were in great activities but didn’t get to know my team yet and no one on my team was from home. When we all got to Detroit we were like family. CJ from [PeacePlayers Brooklyn] and I really bonded, and he felt like my brother from another mother. Malaki from [PeacePlayers LA] was good peoples always laid back but good person to talk to. They are my brothers for life. This trip even brought me and my Baltimore family closer together…. I can’t wait til we do it again.” – Chris, PeacePlayers Baltimore