Its the 3rd week of October, and like a well oiled machine, we here at PeacePlayers – Northern Ireland have shifted right into gear as our Autumn programming, or FALL as we call it in the US, has kicked off. We’ve got twinnings running in East, North, South and West. We got BIL every Wednesday night and BIL+ every Friday night until December. Debbie and Gareth have been working hard on our partnership with Dame Kelly Holmes. The first Basketball Development session (formerly known as Rec League) was held just days ago. In addition, we’ve already had two residentials this month and we’re not even halfway through October (as of writing…). Rather than me sit here and tell you all about these programmes individually, I thought I would get my friends to tell you about them!
Out in the field at a twinning
TWINNINGS – Leif Frymire, Fellow
Twinnings are well under way across Belfast and beyond! This term we have our typical twinnings in East, North, South and West Belfast that have all, but a few, begun. I typically try and space mine out so that I don’t have them all running at the same time. Doesn’t leave much time for work in the office! In addition to our Belfast twinnings, Debbie and Gareth have been working hard to setup twinnings in Larne and the Mid Ulster Borough Council area. With the new term we also have a new curriculum for our P6 year groups, the theme for them is FUN!
BIL – Jakob Häuser, Intern
Since I just began working with PeacePlayers about two months ago, I am still learning about the different PeacePlayers programmes and methods more and more.
The first senior boys BIL session [in East] I led was tough for me because even though I generally knew what to do the actual leading a session was completely new experience for me. So I decided to implement a couple of boys into the session leading and asked them to step up and take responsibility. I wasn’t sure about how it would work out and was therefore even more thrilled when I saw them stepping out of their comfort zone and getting engaged in a way that contributed a lot to the motivation of the team, the quality of the BB – and – overall – the fun-raising.
BIL session in West being led by an assistant coach
Gareth, Dame Kelly Holmes, Debbie, and Michael Marrow
DKHP – Gareth Harper, Managing Director
In a unique partnership between the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and PeacePlayers-Northern Ireland, we have utilised the skills, experience and knowledge to develop a long-term behaviour change and leadership programme for young people in the heart of their community, to tackle the key social issues of good relations, overcoming prejudice, hate and intolerance.
This cross-communities programme will fundamentally develop long term change in our young people. From our evidence of attitudinal enhancement to empower people to make positive life choices, we will support young people even further as leaders, utilising our unique toolkit, which is founded on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).
The Young Leaders programme has a multiplier effect across the community and is led by the young people tackling key social issues in their community, engaging with other young people with the aim to improve attitudes of young people in relation to other religious, political, ethnic and marginalised community members. This could also include elements focussing on health, obesity, anti-social behaviour and drug and alcohol misuse, and using sport and physical activity as the catalyst for change.
VISA Renewal – Jazz Bishop, Fellow
I just returned to the States so I can renew my visa. I was able to book my flight a little earlier so I could surprise my dad for his birthday. It’s easy to say that the surprise was a great success. It’s been 3 years since I was able to be home for his birthday and I think he was really grateful for me to be here for it this year.
I will be home for about 3 weeks while my visa is being renewed. I’ve been waking up very early because I haven’t adjusted to the time difference yet, but it has given me plenty of time to get work done while I’m here. That’s right – work doesn’t stop even if I’m in a different country. While there are limitations on what work I am able to do; I still am able to send out emails to plan for the DePauw exchange, preparation for BIL each week, along with requirements for our Basketball Development Programme (BDP).
Being home for 3 weeks is a long time. I’m saddened that I will be missing the bonds between the East Belfast BIL participants grow while they are also improving their skills on the basketball court. It just makes me more excited to get back and see everyone again!
Basketball Development Programme – Andrew Daniels, Fellow
BDP, otherwise known as Basketball Development Programme, has just kicked off for the year. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can develop our programme this year to provide our participants with further opportunity to develop their basketball skills! Perhaps the coolest thing about BDP is our young leaders from our Coaches Development Programme (CDP) using BDP as a way to practice their coaching skills. When I say practicing coaching skills I mean from top to bottom our CDP’s design, deliver and recruit (with support from staff of course) for our BDP sessions! It is very cool to see how our participants are taking what they have learned from us and applying it to their practice. The participants love being coached by our young leaders and it provides a role model for our kids to look up to that is very different than a staff or employed coach. All of these reasons are what have me excited for this year, particularly to see how we can grow this programme into something even bigger and better than it already is. Maybe by the end of the year we can create our own club teams! Would be class!