PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) has been fortunate to have Amy Murphy, a long-time participant and volunteer in our programs, who is completing her school work experience with us for the week. Here, she thinks back on her involvement with PPI-NI.
I have been involved with PeacePlayers for more than five years. I got involved by attending a cross-community league (CCL) in a community center. Every year, I kept coming back to make new friends and play basketball. I hadn’t played before, but I wasn’t too bad. It was the energetic coaches that always made me want to come back. I wanted to be just like them.
As I grew older, I started volunteering at tournaments. First, I was an assistant coach, but eventually I even coached my own team. Then, I started completing Open College Network (OCN) courses to earn qualifications. My desire to stay involved just kept growing.
My favorite memory took place in 2009 at Spring Jam. I was on Joanne Fitzpatrick‘s team, and she was my favorite coach, so I was so excited the day before the event. We made it to the final, and the score was tied 10-all with ten seconds to go. The clock started ticking down, 10, 9, 8… I was bringing the ball up the court. Right before the buzzer, I shot it and it went in, so we won the match. Everyone was hugging me and cheering for me, and I made Joanne proud. I’ll never forget it.
Things have changed a lot around here since when I was in CCL. There is so much more to it, such as the Arbinger Anatomy of Peace trainings. When that was introduced to me, it was so different. It wasn’t just something that could be related to basketball; it was an every day thing that I could use as I looked at people. Am I looking at this person as an object or a person? Or are they just irrelevant to me? PeacePlayers has had a big impact on my life. It has led to what I want to do in the future, which is coach basketball. I’m excited to see what other things PeacePlayers will teach me in the future.