We are excited to announce the return of Tony McGaharan, veteran PPI-NI coach and former Project Coordinator, who joins the team in his new role as Senior Project Coordinator. Tony will be the team leader for operational delivery and also responsible for program growth, innovation, and new business development. We recently asked him some questions about his return; below are his answers.
How did you first become involved with PeacePlayers?
I first became involved with PPI as a volunteer for the annual Spring Jam tournament. It was after participating in this event that I became fascinated in the role that sport could play in bringing young people together. Growing up in a society where sports and sports clubs segregate the majority of young people, I was amazed at how PeacePlayers International was able to use it as a tool for uniting rather than dividing Catholics and Protestants.
What will your new role be like?
In my new role, I will be responsible for all operational delivery, working closely with our Project Coordinators, Joanne and Darryl, and International Fellows, Chris and Megan, to help ensure we maintain high quality and professional delivery throughout all of our programs. Additionally, I will spend time focusing on new, innovative, opportunities for how we can best further the PPI mission. I will also be in the field, helping with delivery and facilitation.
What are you most looking forward to about your new position?
I want to embrace all the new challenges and opportunities that come with my new role. I’m most excited about rejoining the staff. There are great people working for PPI-NI who hold a variety of skills, experiences, and talents. I’m excited to work alongside the team to help the organization continue to improve its operations and expand the reach of our existing programs.
Do you have a best PPI moment?
One of my favorite memories goes back to my first Jingle Ball. I could not believe how many kids were packed into the sports hall; it was organized chaos. The energy, the buzz, and the excitement was overwhelming. I got asked to coach a team, which was a mix of Holy Cross Girls and Wheatfield Primary School pupils. It was incredible to witness the power of sport in breaking down prejudices. The girls came together at the start of the day quiet and distant from one another, but by the afternoon they were sharing high-fives and heaps of laughter.
It’s just great to be back on a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who are all bound by the same mission: to bring young people together from divided communities using sport.