Work Hard, Play Hard pt 2

This weeks blog is written by PP-NI fellow, Leif Frymire. 

A few months back, our fearless leader and Managing Director, Gareth Harper wrote about how very busy we were here at PeacePlayers Northern Ireland.  I can confirm that we were flat out, bustin’ our guts.  It was amazing to see us all work so hard to make everything happen.

BUT, just when we thought we’d not be that busy for for some time, BAM! our Spring programming commenced.  The past 3 weeks (most definitely more than 3 weeks) have been a whirl wind.  We’ve had all sorts of programming to deliver outside of Belfast in the form of SEP supported twinning delivery; twinnings in Ballymena, Larne and Lurgan; 6 week and some change Technical Assistant project Together Everyone Achieves More through Sport (TEAMS) in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne; and we have been planning/organising a Game of Three Halves camp in Ballymena, Carrick and Larne for Easter Break.  All of this in addition to the regular programming we deliver here in Belfast!



Photos above taken from the TEAMS project in Carrickfergus!


Intl Fellow Andrew using his unique Basketball skills at a TEAMS project in Carrick.

On Wednesday, March 7th Joanne led our 12th – and final – Super Twinning, which was also the 3rd super twinning of the week.  That’s right, we had 3 super twinnings in a row! Additionally, the Belfast Interface League (BIL) started on March 7th in East, North, South and West. Additionally, additionally many of our regular twinning programmes started that SAME week.  IN ADDITION to these additions, BIL+ started that week.  I slept like a baby that weekend!


Ops Team Leader Debbie leading some Team Building for a Super Twinning


Senior Projects Coordinator, Joanne, leading Team Building a bit differently


Can you spot the Managing Director? Gareth posing with all the cooperation captains.

The amount of planning – emails, phone calls, messages, class visits, meetings, on the go talks – that have been made over the past 2 months between all the coordinators, Debbie, Gareth and Laura would astound you!  It’s been inspiring to see how much we’ve accomplished whilst seemingly feeling like we’re on the brink of disaster.


M& E expert, Laura, checking the latest sports news


Intl Fellow Jazz working away


Me facing writers block

How have we been able to accomplish so much?  Great question!  Thanks for asking.  I would say much of our success is due to how well we have been communicating with each other, providing assistance for each other when needed, and supporting each other.

With all that said, I would be remiss not to mention our amazing sessional coaches!  We have relied upon a robust team of local coaches to support us in the delivery of programming over the past 2 months.  There is only so much we can do as a staff team.  Having a large bank of reliable local coaches to pull from ensures that while we take on several projects, the quality of the PeacePlayer programming does not suffer.



While we have been testing the limits of our capacity, I feel the PeacePlayers organisation here in Northern Ireland has grown tremendously over the past few months.  Without the challenges we have faced, we could run the risk of becoming stagnant.  We would not grow.  The learning we have absorbed over these past few months could equal the learning made over the course of a year.  While it seems difficult in the moment, a few months down the road when we are faced with the newest challenge, we will look back at now and say, it can be done, and it will be done!


Somewhere in all this craziness we manage to have some (mandatory) fun… (missing from photo Debbie and Jazz)

#itscooltobeapeaceplayer #sweattothebeat #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #workhardplayhard #nosleeptillSummerJam


nornironWork Hard, Play Hard pt 2

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