The Greater Dunmurry Positive Relations Partnership recently held a week-long soccer summer school with training provided by coaches from the Old Firm Alliance of Rangers and Celtic.
More than 120 seven to 16-year-olds took part in daily two-hour sessions of “intensive but fun” coaching. Participants came from all backgrounds and ethnic groups from within the Greater Dunmurry area.
The GDPRP is funded through the Lisburn Castlereagh PEACE III Partnership under the theme of creating a shared space and aims to develop community relations and promote dialogue among all age groups.
Chair of the Lisburn Castlereagh PEACE III Partnership, Councillor Jenny Palmer, said, “This event has given young people from different backgrounds an opportunity to come together to play football. They get an opportunity to improve their skills while also learning about respect and tolerance in the game and for each other.”
Also present were Councillor Paul Porter, Chair of Leisure Services and Jonathon Craig MLA.
The soccer school finished with a barbecue and fun family activities. Certificates were presented by Junior Minister and MLA Jennifer McCann and the Deputy mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Andrew Ewing.
“I’m delighted,” said Jennifer, “to see so many young people from all sections of our community taking part in this fantastic initiative. GDPRP deserves great credit in helping to forge new friendships between Colin (Glen) and Dunmurry and I look forward to helping them progress this project”.
Many parents and grandparents also went along to the scheme. In closing, GDPRP Co-Chairperson, Michael George, said: “I am delighted with the turnout for this and all our summer activities. We will continue to hopefully build a stronger shared future for Dunmurry and all those living in the area.”