Last week 18 members of the PeacePlayers International-Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) family volunteered their time to participate in the first annual Call-a-Thon.
The main purpose of the evening was to engage more with the parents of PPI-NI participants, making sure that they know what it is we are doing in the divided communities of Northern Ireland. During the evening we also got to hear some of the great anecdotes our participants had told their parents after a PeacePlayers session. One parent said “my boy doesn’t play sports, or get excited about anything really. However, when it comes to PeacePlayers, he’s bouncing around the house and can’t wait to get out the door to go play basketball with his new friends”. In Northern Ireland, we call that a “so what” moment; moment when you realise just what it is we’re doing and reaffirms why we do it, a moment that really makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Speaking to the parents of over 600 participants, PPI-NI staff, coaches and Champions4Peace all got their fair share of “so what” moments too. In total we spent 4 hours and 30 minutes talking to the parents of our programme, listening to their stories and sharing a few of our own. Our programme participants and senior Champions4Peace shared their stories of why they got involved with PeacePlayers with the parents, making this event more special than we could have imagined.
Behind the scenes look at this year’s call-a-thon!
Ben from East Belfast, who has been involved in the programme for four years also picked up some skills along the way “It was challenging at first, but when you’re with your friends and seeing them do it, I quickly gained the confidence to speak to people over the phone, people I’ve never talked to before.”