This week, Coach Keith Mitchell talks about the efforts put in by PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) coaching staff and senior participants in the hopes of raising support and awareness of the organization.
In what has become an annual event for PPI-NI, three relay teams participated in the Belfast City Marathon on 5th May. The marathon is one of the few events in Belfast the takes place across community lines, so it is important that PPI-NI demonstrate a strong level of support for the race. Fifteen staff members, coaches and Senior “Champions 4 Peace” battled the perpetually temperamental Northern Ireland weather (i.e., rain, wind and cold temperatures) and ran legs of the race ranging from 3.7miles to over 7 miles.
People from all parts of the city lined the course route and cheered on the runners, many of whom ran in fanciful costumes. Staff members were especially motived to run fast as they went though the neighborhoods where they are also responsible for providing cross community programs. One of our Fellows, Casey Tryon, had the privilege of running astride Belfast’s Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who also attended PPI-NI’s fund raising Family Games Night event earlier in the year.
It was especially heartening to see so many people using the marathon to raise money for charities. Thousands of pounds were raised to support worthy causes ranging from breast cancer to juvenile diabetes to motor neurone disease. Congratulations to all of the PPI-NI runners who raised £2,000 in support our programs, which is nearly twice last year’s total. Well done!