Enhancing local capacity lies at the heart of PPI-NI’s strategic plan. This past week was monumental for us as we introduced the first ever PeacePlayers local fellow to our core staff team. This week’s blog is written by our Local Fellow, Ryan McGarry. Read more to learnabout Ryan’s journey to becoming a fellow!
My name is Ryan McGarry, and for the last two years I have worked as a sessional, assistant lead, and lead coach for PPI-NI. I have loved working here and I am proud to say I am now the first ever PPI-NI local fellow!
Throughout the run-up to this summer, I became aware that PPI-NI was, for the first time, creating a job position for a ‘local fellow’ – a new take on the tried and tested ‘international fellowship’ that usually involves an American travelling to one of our global sites for work there for two years. PeacePlayers has always been a big part of my life, and when the opportunity to apply came up, I couldn’t let it slide!
Throughout my two years here I have developed a far deeper understanding of my own city and the people within it, people I would never have had the chance to meet when I was growing up. I love coaching and developing relationships with the staff and participants of PeacePlayers, and the idea that I could simultaneously take on more personal responsibility for running a small part of the organisation, learn and develop my own skills, and hopefully make a positive impression on a wider range of young participants, was something I knew I had to go for.
I’ve only been in this position for a week so far, but already it has begun to dawn on me just how much work goes into every single aspect of this organisation. I have a huge amount of respect for all of the staff, and previous fellows whom I am now joining the ranks of, more so now after just one week of work and responsibilities. I believe that my experiences prior to joining PeacePlayers, along with the skills I have developed before and throughout my time here, will help shape my approach in this new role. While an understanding of the learning curriculum, my personal leadership abilities, and practical skills are all important aspects of what I bring to the table, I like to think that what will truly enable me to excel is my rugged good looks, boyish charm, and modest attitude.
I’m excited for the next couple of years, and to see what role I can play in PPI-NI moving forward, I understand there will be challenges but that makes the rewards themselves all the more rewarding. Special thanks to Casey Tryon for all the help she has been to me over the previous few years, and I want her to know she’s leaving West Belfast in capable hands!