It’s Always Sunny in Belfast

Posted By: Nyasha Sarju
Posted On: August 27th, 2016
Attending: Ulster University

After all the NYC festivities the time came to finally depart to a new land. 2 flights, a wee bit of sleep and over 12 hours later we all arrived at the Sport Changes Life office and were welcomed by a plethora of food, coffee, tea and biscuits. The sun was SHINING! The week has been full of activity, training, and fun. We hit the ground running, beginning with coaching training, seeing the beauty of Belfast & Jordanstown, and running a camp for kids. Going to a new place is always certain to bring change, and it is in this change that we often find the biggest opportunities for growth. Coming to Ireland I felt full of excitement but also full of fear of the unknown. Upon arrival, my living situation was out of sorts and in disarray. Being someone who prefers cleanliness and tidiness it was a challenge to move in to such a situation. However, every obstacle is an opportunity for reframing. Instead of wallowing in my petty frustration, I chose to lean into those around me. A group of scholars took a stroll down to the shore on our first evening here. The breathtaking beauty of the sunset over the water, the sweet taste of fresh air, and the community amongst ourselves was an opportunity to give thanks. Although I was frustrated by a situation that was out of my control, there was still so much around me for which I was then able to feel blessed about.


The community experienced in the midst of the beautiful landscape continued as we went into the weekend. On Saturday, half of the scholars took a trip into Belfast to go for a hike at Cave Hill, while the other half stayed at Ulster to coach a Basketball Northern Ireland camp. The hike produced breathtaking views, challenging climbing, and an opportunity to get to know one another better. A few of us even climbed some rocks to get into the cave. Once I started climbing I thought to myself “why did you do this?” but with the help of my fellow Victory Scholars and their superb coaching skills, I made it to the top alongside a few others. The climb down was even more intimidating because I was sure to fall at any moment, but thankfully everyone at the bottom was ready to catch me if my clumsiness proved evident on thew way down. I’m writing this blog now from my dorm room, so obviously, I’m all gucci 🙂


The following day we had the pleasure of working with awesome kids, running a camp for Basketball Northern Ireland (BNI). This was our first opportunity to incorporate all of the basketball coaching and working with youth training we received as we were in charge of planning our individual stations at the camp. The kids were a ton of fun, extremely engaged and very excited to be working with us, as we were with them. Coaching is fun, but watching kids gain confidence and a sense of self through the sport we all love is the real gem! Everyone told us it rained nonstop here in Ireland, but as you can see, it’s always sunny in Belfast.

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