PPI-NI Welcomes New Participants and Coaches

PPI-NI participants and staff play a game of "MJ Says" at a recent twinning.

PPI-NI participants and staff play a game of “MJ Says” at a recent twinning.

PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) is rolling into the spring semester working with our youngest participants from P4 and P5 (ages 7-9). At each of our primary schools, we aim to work with participants as they move up each year. It has been a lot of fun getting to know our newest participants and introducing them to our coaches, games, and most importantly, each other.

At one recent P5 session with St. Clare’s and Carr’s Glen, we started off with a classic game of “Sit Down Clown,” led by one of our newer coaches. Rebecca, currently a student at Queens University in Belfast, is a great addition to our diverse team. One of the participants had asked whether he could be on her team because he’d never met someone from England before. In the end, he got his wish as we couldn’t say no to such a sincere request.

The result of a recent "team talk" with primary school participants.

The result of a recent “team talk” with primary school participants.

During a “team talk,” we discussed and drew a picture of what qualities make up a good friend or teammate. One boy, Dean, jumped up quickly to say “honest!” Niamh, a girl from the other school, asked whether we could draw a big heart for “caring.” Our perfect friend soon had “fuzzy” hair like a teddy bear to show he was friendly and a big smirk on his face and cool glasses to show he was fun.  As we made final touches on our “friend,” Siobhan asked if she could write “PeacePlayers” on his shirt as Matthew drew the lines to transform an orange blob into a basketball.  After only a few weeks together, it seemed all but natural that these kids would be working together as a team.

In addition to quality conversations, these last few weeks we’ve also seen some great dance moves, fierce dribble relays, and fast friendships made.

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