Following on from the success of our Games of Two Halves with St Peters and Eire Og, and our cross border trip to Boyne Rugby Club for our first ever cross border blitz we have now submitted a successful Peace IV grant application which is being administered by ABC Council.
The key emphasis of our proposal is the teaching and practical application of values: most notably neutrality; equity & inclusion; respect; trust; responsibility. These values are designed to help resolve conflict and promote community reconciliation among young people and their families through sport and sport related activities and cross community festivals.
Aims are adapted for each place and space, but overarching objectives are fivefold:
Specific ‘on-pitch’ and ‘off-pitch’ curriculums utilising Gaelic football and Rugby to provide the opportunity for young people from different and divided communities to learn to play and work together so that distrust might be overcome and bridges built for understanding and appreciation of each other in peace. By having children from different communities playing on the same team, the intention has been to build trust and support, foster personal development, forge new friendships and encourage an appreciation of the skills and talents of others.
In tandem, a sustainable coach development programme centred on residential camps and sporting clubs has been developed. Coaches charged with delivering the programme within their communities are trained in a neutral place which allows them to bond without the distractions of conflict around them. This allows them to foster the behaviour and ideals they would ultimately be asking of the participants in their projects.