Today’s blog is brought to you by International Fellow Ryan Hage’s good friend, Khalid Robinson. He is visiting for the week and has spent the last year in Belfast, Northern Ireland with a sports nonprofit, Sport Changes Life. Khalid got to see firsthand both the PeacePlayers program in Northern Ireland and Cyprus and lets us know what makes both of them so special
Hey my name is Khalid Robinson and I am visiting Cyprus this week. I was a college teammate of current fellow Ryan Hage at Fordham University. I’ve been studying abroad and working with the nonprofit organization, Sport Changes Life in Belfast Northern Ireland.
During my time in Belfast, I witnessed several games featuring the PeacePlayers-Northern Ireland girls’ team. That team consisted of players from different cultural backgrounds. Despite the differences that exist between the players, the girls on the PeacePlayer’s team displayed a genuine love for the game and their teammates. Although they come from diverse backgrounds these girls showed no animosity towards each other and competed throughout the game. The girls played hard, worked together and exhibited a love for competition.
This same friendship and comradery can be seen among the PeacePlayers-Cyprus youth teams. The kids exemplify how the medium of sports can positively affect the attitudes and dispositions of kids. The kids have a great work ethic and enthusiasm to learn which can be translated from basketball into their daily lives. Although Belfast and Cyprus are in vastly different parts of the world with their own unique cultures, the ethos and strategy of Peace Players has remained consistent. Basketball has been able to effectively inspire kids to have ambition and a desire to create change in the world around them.