the History of PeacePlayers

The Early Years: 2000-2006

Sean Tuohey Founder of PeacePlayers

After graduating from Catholic University, Sean Tuohey spent time coaching cross-community basketball in Northern Ireland.

He recognized the unique role sport could play in bringing people together across societal divides.

A police chief in Belfast he befriended suggested that what worked in Northern Ireland could also help in post-apartheid South Africa. With seed money raised from family and friends, Sean and his brother Brendan launched PeacePlayers (then Playing for Peace) in 2001.

Working hand-in-hand with local coaches and friends,

the program grew rapidly. By 2003, the organization had not only returned to Northern Ireland, but also earned a grant from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Northern Ireland Origins
Middle East Origins

In 2005 and 2006, programs were launched in Israel and the West Bank and then in Cyprus.

Focusing on the importance of local ownership and sustainability, each program site developed its own leadership, funding and program management .

In 2017, PeacePlayers partnered with Nike

to bring its learnings to help take on the pressing social divides in the United States. An entrepreneurial spirit and building of authentic relationships with local leaders drives our organization as it approaches is next twenty years of growth and impact.

PeacePlayers US Origins

Learn About our theory of change

Through basketball programming, peace education, and leadership development, PeacePlayers empowers youth to build peaceful and equitable societies. Our network of young leaders are changing communities around the globe.

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