Last Saturday, over 70 kids from all around Belfast area came together to play for peace in the city-wide Jingle Ball tournament. After playing in the Belfast Interface League together for 6 weeks, the 4 teams from North, 2 from East, 1 from South and 2 from West came together to play in high-level competition. As soon as the kids entered Stranmillis University’s sports hall, the unity from each side of the city was very apparent. We had war paint, group huddles (and dances) and chants. Having these kids come together and represent their side of their city rather than fighting between their communities is the glimmer of hope that is needed in Belfast at this time of year.With numerous bombs planted in Belfast City Centre within the same week, all of the children, parents and volunteers who helped Jingle Ball happen should be extremely proud of themselves – for seeing past all of the conflict happening in “our wee city” and making something special happen.
After all of the matches, cheering and dancing there could only be one outcome…who won!? From the boys tournament, East Belfast came out on top with West Belfast coming in close second. From the girls tournament, West Belfast came out on top with Belfast coming in second place. The ‘Hustle’ award went to Charley Knocker from North Belfast and James Hamill from East Belfast. The ‘Spirit’ award went to Niamh McNally from West Belfast and Dylan Irvine from South Belfast.