This week’s blog was written by PPI-NI, Local Fellow, Ryan McGarry
The beginning of summer is looking to be a busy time for everyone here at PeacePlayers-NI. We’re looking forward to a wide range of events and trips involving our participants, coaches, staff, and visitors from all over Belfast and beyond!
The first stop on our busy schedule is the visit from a group of students from DePauw University – Indiana, USA. This is the fourth time we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming DePauw and everyone’s excited about the visit! The group arrived in Belfast today and will spend the next eleven days visiting different sides of the city, learning its history, meeting our participants and helping out at many different events packed into the next week and a half.
Some of the students will be visiting our BIL sites tonight, getting stuck into the core work we do, and meeting our participants for the first time.
After exploring some parts of the city, on Friday the students (along with members of PPI-NI office & coaching staff) will be visiting the famous North Coast. During the weekend, we will visit places ranging from the historic Dunluce Castle & Giants Causeway, the peace and reconciliation center of the Corrymeela Community, along with some famous set pieces from HBO’s Game of Thrones series!
After the weekend, things get busier! Monday will see the group take part in a Game of Three Halves session, before getting the chance to share some of their knowledge with our participants at our annual DePauw Coaches Clinic – led by the one and only head coach of DePauw Tigers – Bill Fenlon!
After visiting and assisting some of our Primary School Twinning sessions during that week, the students will get a chance to learn part of PeacePlayers core philosophy, with a training being held in the ideas and methods of the Arbinger Institute. This will hopefully give some insight into the core values that underpin the work that they will have been helping out with during their time here.
Finally, on Saturday, the group will be joining us in our biggest event of the year — Summer Jam! Our BIL participants from each side of the city will convene at Queen’s PEC for our annual tournament, with each group being supported by their coaches, students, and others in a day that’s always a lot of fun!
Summer Jam in its current form, wouldn’t be possible without the support of DePauw and we’re delighted to welcome them back once again to take part, and we know it brings a lot of excitement to the participants who love seeing them come and visit!
It’s going to be a great summer here, and there’s no better way to kick it off than the DePauw visit, and we’re all looking forward to the next few weeks!