On Tuesday August 20th I moved to Northern Ireland for 10 months to take place in the Sport Changes Life Program, and I am so stoked to be apart of this program. I will be attending Ulster University on the Jordanstown campus where I will play basketball as well as coach and mentor children.
I can’t believe the next chapter of my life has approached so fast!! It doesn’t feel real, I feel that I was applying for this program just yesterday! I flew from Pittsburgh, PA to New York, NY and then finally arrived in Dublin, Ireland. I am surrounded by 21 other scholars who all have the same intentions as me, and that is to change someone’s life! I look forward to getting close with the other 21 scholars!
We are put in positions to impact and inspire different age groups who this program impacts.
Of course I was sad to leave my family and friends but when you genuinely think about the opportunity that is put in front of you, you can’t help but get excited! I can’t be more appreciative for this opportunity because sports have changed my life in so many ways and I want to be able to reciprocate that with other people!
The first day was pretty crazy because I was up for about 36 hours with only a couple naps! We arrived in Belfast around 9am on Wednesday the 21st and got straight to it! When we first arrived we moved into our rooms and luckily enough I will be living in the room for the next 10 months. We then ate and were able to have some down time which was followed by a grocery store visit then lunch. We had a meeting which was a struggle for everyone because we were so tired, so we cut the meeting short due to some people dozing off (myself included)!! We napped for about 30 minutes but it was important not to sleep because our sleeping schedule would be messed up for about a week since Ireland is 5 hours ahead of Eastern time in America.
We then came back for dinner and then our evening got pretty exciting! We were thrown into one of the groups the Sports Changes Life Program does, eHoops. EHoops is a program that I will be participating in a lot over these next 10 months and it is all about bringing the younger community in Northern Ireland in and working with them. We met with the Carmoney soccer team, and introduced the program to them, but it was amazing because we were being introduced at the same time. We were able to meet all the girls and get to know them, followed by activities and games in the gym! It is wonderful to see the girls faces when they interact with all of us, you can see their face light up with excitement which is a great feeling to have! I can’t wait to make a greater impact on all the groups I get to work with during this experience!!!