Operation’s Team Leader Debbie Byrne shares on how Super Twinning’s are vitally important to the work of PPI in Northern Ireland.
Over the last couple of weeks PPI-NI ran two Super Twinning’s – one for children in West Belfast and one for children from North Belfast. What are Super Twinning’s? It is a basketball tournament where children from the twinned primary schools from that area of the city get together and compete against each other.
The West Belfast Super Twinning happened on Wednesday the 22nd of October and had to happen in two parts because of the number amount of children we had in each of the schools. West Belfast Coordinator Casey Tryon was delighted with how the day went. On arrival one of the children was disappointed that their twinning partner could not come; she said “but we can’t do it without them”. The little girl was happy again when she found out she was able to twin with another school for the day.
On the 7th of November we had the North Belfast Super Twinning. Again, it was another fun filled, competitive day. Coordinator Joanne Fitzpatrick again organized a wonderful day and the kids went away with red faces and huge smiles. One of the best things for me on the day was that my team won!
Super Twinning’s are a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of logistical organization and we need a lot of coaches to make it work. However, it is absolutely worth the effort! The children who come take on a whole new identity as they compete with the school they twin with against other twinned schools. They cheer on other teams who are part of their twinning and become one united, integrated team. Bridging divides, uniting communities and developing leaders who make a difference in their communities is what we are all about at PPI-NI.
The Super Twinning’s are a great example of the progress that is being made in establishing a new sense of shared community and identity in historically divided areas. My favorite quote from the day I picked up as one child was leaving the Super Twinning. I overheard one girl say to her friends “it’s not about the winning but it’s about taking part”. How true!!