Young sportswomen were once again invited to take part in the unique cross community programme aimed at building skills on the sports field and building relationships in the community.
The ‘Stick with Diversity’ programme has just finished its second run and organisers were able to build on last year’s successful inaugural event.
Last Autumn (2021) young members from Portadown Ladies Hockey Club and St Enda’s Camogie Club came together to learn playing skills, build mutual respect for both the sports and each other, and build relationships in a safe space.
This year young sportswomen from the Banbridge High School and St. Patrick’s College took part in the scheme, which got underway in February and culminated in an event to mark the end of the programme in April.
‘Stick with Diversity’ is a PEACE IV Programme developed as a collaboration between Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, PSNI and the most recent programme including Banbridge High and St Patrick’s College in Banbridge (instead of it being St Endas and Portadown Ladies Hockey Club).
It incorporates a range of physical activity sessions, educational workshops and fun activities for young women aged 11-13. The programme began in early February and ran every Tuesday until the end of April 2022, with around 20 girls from each club taking part.
Alderman Glenn Barr, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said that “the Stick with Diversity Programme demonstrates how sport can bring young people together to appreciate the similarities and differences that exist within and between Camogie and Hockey, and to also develop friendships. The PEACE IV programme has been very successful in encouraging and facilitating positive engagement through a range of activities and events over the past five years, and we are delighted that clubs and schools have been enthusiastic in helping to deliver these projects.”
Constable Ruth Young, from Banbridge Neighborhood Policing Team, explains, “We have been working with partners, including Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, the PEACE IV programme and local sports teams to bring this programme to fruition and, I am pleased to say, we were able to run the programme again this year. Thank-you to everyone who took part and everyone who helped make it happen. I would also like to thank our participants.”
Mark Parker, Banbridge High School said, “As a school we were delighted to get the opportunity to participate in the programme and increase positive relationships with St Patricks and the local Policing team. The girls really enjoyed, not only the sports activities but the weekly guests and mixing with their peers. I hope this will lead to further opportunities and activities to benefit all our young people.”
Orla Gribben from St. Patrick’s College said, “St. Patrick’s were delighted to get the opportunity to take part in the ‘Stick with Diversity’ programme and all the girls who participated enjoyed each aspect of the programme. The girls have made new friends from Banbridge High and have built positive relationships with everyone involved.”