August 15th, 2016 | NEWS
(BELFAST, UK) This week launches the beginning of the 2016 Sport Changes Life OFMDFM T:BUC Summer Camp. The camp, which spanned over three days, was held at the athletic facilities of Sport Changes Life founding partner, Ulster University.
Over 40 young people, aged 15-19 years, attended the multi sports camp. Our outreach of young people will come from two communities brought together from our EHOOPS programmes; the boys came from New Mossley, while the girls hailed from Short Strand. The camp will be lead by sport mentors from the Sport Changes Life eHOOPS program.
While at camp, the young people will come together to participate in a variety of fun, active sport games, ranging from handball to football to basketball. In addition, the young people will attend workshops in sport and good relations a long with the opportunity to look at their educational needs and job search. These workshops are a great way to have time to get to know one another, reflect, and discuss their cultural differences off the field of sports. In doing so, they will be able to overcome stereotypes, build mutual respect, and form lasting friendships with one another.
Alan Teggart, Lead facilitator and SCL sport mentor has this to say about the programme, “We have been doing a lot of great work with these two communities separately over the past year through EHOOPS and now the OFMDFM T:BUC summer camp has allowed us to bring the two communities together to learn more about each other first hand through our pre-camp sessions and we now look forward to our summer camp” he said, adding, “Although we have worked with a lot of these young people already we are always keen to invite any young people from these two areas to come and get involved with the programme.”
The camp was one of over 100 funded by the Summer Camps Programme, a headline action in its second year, described in the Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) strategy. The program provides opportunities for young people to come together to build positive relationships across what have become divided parts of Northern Ireland’s community. According to its strategy, the camps “are about challenging historic positions, encouraging debate and discussion and providing a way for young people to get to know each other, try new experiences, have fun and help to build longer term relationships.”
There were three pre-camp sessions in the weeks leading up to the camp, and there will be three post-camp sessions in the weeks following, culminating in a final, celebratory dinner. Camp attendees will also have a chance to reunite in early 2017, when all T:BUC Summer Camp participants will come together to further develop friendships as they celebrate their achievements.
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