The successful Game of Three Halves event on July 6th brought a busy 2010-2011 programme year to a close. All of our primary school twinnings, cross-community leagues, coaches’ trainings, and residentials have ended until the fall, when we will resume regular programme activity.
However, PPI-NI doesn’t just sit around our office staring at the wall waiting for September. A lot of the community centres with which PPI-NI works in its Cross-Community League and Leadership Development Programme host summer schemes for the youth in their area. Whiterock Leisure Centre in West Belfast is currently running a summer scheme and asked if PeacePlayers could provide a few coaches to teach their kids the game of basketball…we couldn’t refuse.
This past week, International Fellow Rory O’Neil and Local Coordinator Joanne Fitzpatrick spent several days running kids through PPI-NI drills and games at Whiterock Leisure Centre. Games teaching kids defense, dribbling, passing, and everyone’s favorite, shooting, were enjoyed by 40 kids as young as 5 and as old 16 years old.
PPI-NI’s relationship with Whiterock goes back several years and one can clearly see the close relationship we have developed with the Centre, its staff, and the kids by looking at their representation throughout our programmes. Participants young and old from Whiterock attended this year’s CCL program in both the Fall and Spring sessions. In fact, the high scorer of the Fall CCL was Sean Paul ‘S.P.’ Thompson from Whiterock! At every PPI-NI tournament, dozens of kids from Whiterock attend, not only as participants, but also as junior coaches and volunteers. Perhaps most importantly, every tournament, Whiterock Leader Sean ‘Topper’ Thompson (S.P.’s father) brings along his DJ equipment and keeps the tournament rocking all afternoon.
Thank you Whiterock for inviting us to take part in your summer scheme and thank you for being such great supporters of PeacePlayers International-Northern Ireland!