2018 Global Peace Games Reunion. Belfast’s young Peace Ambassadors got together to plan raising funds for their Peace Pitch. Students of Ashfield Girls School, Ashfield Boys School, Metropolitan College, Wellington College, Breda Academt, Down High School, St Malachays High, St Mary’s, Wallace High School and St Patrick’s Academy, are seeking to be the first schools in Belfast to twin a designated area of play with Flanders Peace Field, Mesen, Belgium, site of The First World 1914 Christmas Truces.
In partnership with Slum Soccer, M.R. MATRICULTUTION H.R. SEC. SCHOOL, CHENNAI, INDIA, is the first school in India to twin their playing pitch with Flanders Peace Field, Mesen, Belgium, site of The First World War Christmas Truces. Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war. In World War I the Indian Army fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western Front. M.G, Prabhakaran, said, ‘It was a great day for all the children to remember’. Ernie Brennan, NCFA, CEO, said, ‘It was a great day to witness the first school India twin their peace pitch with Flanders, Peace Fields. The football match after the ceremony was played in the spirit of sportsmanship and friendship’ Vijaya Selvaraj, Slum Soccer Coach, said, ‘This Peace Pitch is an important legacy connecting Chennai, India, with the soldiers of The First World War.’
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School opened its doors on 1 September 2016, bringing together the school communities of the Collegiate Grammar School and Portora Royal School.
At the heart of the vision for our school is the commitment to make it a centre of excellence where pupils are known and valued as individuals and where they are challenged and supported in equal measure by a staff committed to pursuing the highest standards across a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences.
THE PEACE RIDE CHEQUE PRESENTATION
Students and staff at the Wyvern School took part in the Peace Field fundraising cycle and rowing event during the week of 25th to 29th March, to help raise funds as part of the school link to the Peace Fields project which enables children from underprivileged backgrounds of mixed ability and mixed gender to take part in the 2019 GLOBAL PEACE GAMES, an opportunity to participate in a weeklong peace education programme at The Peace Village, Mesen, Belgium that will have a lasting impact on each and every young person. Pending funding there is an opportunity for students from Wyvern to participate in the 2020 games.
The activity involved the whole school were students were able to either ride two-wheel or three-wheel bikes, scooters and an adapted wheelchair bike around measured tracks located about the school playgrounds, and a static cycle, or row on a static rowing machine (to cover the distance across the channel) to equal the same distance members of the National Children’s Football Alliance cycled from Canterbury to Ypres on their sponsored bike ride.
Members of Wyvern covered a total distance of 107 miles, just over the actual distance required, raising £200, a fantastic achievement. The cheque was presented to David Ramzan, NCFA Disability Officer, by the students of the school and headteacher John Somers.
TO THE NCFA
Thank you so much for organising such a memorable and wonderful visit for the boys- and us! It was an amazing, moving and truly inspiring visit. Bruges were so welcoming and friendly – I was honestly taken aback by their generosity. It’ll be a trip all the boys will remember forever I’m sure. Many many thanks for making it happen.
Peace Field Project– Messines, Belgium 13th-15th December
Five students from the 6th Form have just returned from a successful residential visit to Belgium.
Wyvern school has signed up to a Peace Field Project organised by the National Children’s Football Alliance – in fact we are the first SEN school in this country to have joined. Its purpose is to commemorate WW1 and the centenary and to celebrate peace by giving schools the opportunity to twin a designated area of their playing field with Flanders Peace Fields, the site of the Christmas Truce. In the week leading up to Christmas 1914, groups of German, British and allied soldiers stopped fighting to sing festive songs. Some soldiers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ventured in to “No man’s land” to exchange gifts and to play games of football.
Students shared a room at the Peace Field Hostel and, over the course of a couple of days, were given guided tours of a number of Commonwealth War Memorials and trenches by Ernie Brennan, a representative from the Children’s Football Alliance. They also attended the Last Post, a nightly service that has been conducted at Menin Gate every night, 365 nights a year since the end of WW1.
On the first full day at Messines, students signed a football and placed it at the site of the Christmas Truces. They were shown how close the British and German trenches were and they visited the field where the Truce took place, now marked by just a simple cross. Later that day, students unveiled the Wyvern School plaque at a Peace Field football pitch, twinning us forever with that site.
On the final morning, Wyvern school played Bruges SEN team. Both teams swapped presents at the start of the match, just as the soldiers in 1914 had. Wyvern gave Bruges a signed school shirt and they gave us their club flags. Philippe, the Bruges coach, presented us each a small clay sculpture. In total there were 600, 000 sculptures commissioned, one for each person – civilian or soldier – who died in Belgium between 1914-18.
The opposing team were a couple of years younger, and, without being asked, our students showed a real and intuitive generosity of spirit by playing kindly and shouting words of encouragement to the opposing side. It was still a competitive game, with the younger team being completely unafraid of the older boys, and tackling with determination. The final score was 9-8 to Wyvern.
We sang, or at least attempted to sing, ‘Silent Night’ in four different languages and finally our students signed another football which was placed at a memorial at the hostel. David Ramzan and Philippe signed a Peace Declaration and we have pledged, in the near future, to play a game of football on our school site in the spirit of friendship and humanity of the original truce.
The students were wonderful ambassadors for the school and David, Darren and I couldn’t have been prouder.
Pupils and staff from The Wyvern School, Ashford, Kent, UK unveiled their Peace Plague at Flanders Peace Pitch. They also visited the site of the Christmas Truces to commemorate the war dead and celebrate peace. They also visited The Last Post, The Menin Gate, Ypres. The team celebrated twinning their school’s Peace Pitch with The Peace Village, Peace Pitch, Flanders by playing Bruges FC.
‘The most important thing that I learnt was how close the Allied and German trenches were and what it was like to be in one’ Pupil
‘My attitudes and opinions have changed because I understand how a simple game of football can bring enemies together’ Pupil
‘I learnt how the generals said that WW1 is going to end in 6 months but it lasted 4 years’ Pupil
‘I learnt that there were so many names on the walls of the Menin Gate’ Pupil
‘The Peace Field Project made me think how lucky I am’ Pupil
Saturday 15th December
THE PEACE VILLAGE
The Wyvern School v Bruges FC Saturday 15th December will officially twin the school’s football pitch with Flanders Peace Field. The ceremony will take place at the Flanders Peace Pitch and The Peace Fields Project Plaque will be unveiled by Helen Newman (The Wyvern School) and Matti Vandemeale (Director, The Peace Village). The Declaration of Peace will be signed by David Ramzan (NCFA, Special Educational Needs Officer).
The Wyvern School, Ashford, Kent, is a special school for children with severe, profound and complex needs that caters for learners from 3-19. Dedicated staff work closely with parents, carers and multi-agencies to ensure that all children feel safe, secure and supported in their learning. Each child will have a unique experience and our aim is that they enjoy their learning and realise their full potential.
Ernie Brennan, National Children’s Football Alliance, CEO, presents David Ramzan, NCFA, Special Education Needs Officer and The Wyvern School, Ashford, Kent, Teacher Assistant, a Peace Field Project (PFP) plaque at Folkestone Museums’s Walter Tull exhibition. The PFP officially twins the school’s designated area of play with Flanders Peace Field.
Breda Academy’s Ambassadors for Peace. Ms K Sweeney presented Paul Cochrane and Lewis Wilson, their Ambassador for Peace certificates which were awarded to them for their outstanding contribution to the 2018 Global Peace Games. CLICK HERE TO VIEW FILM
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The NCFA are providing PRIMARY, JUNIOR and SECONDARY schools – along with Universities with the opportunity to twin their designated areas of play with the Flanders Peace Field. Working in partnership with the Peace Village, Messines, Belgium (site of the 1914 Christmas Truce) the Peace Field Project (PFP) invites schools not only to commemorate the First World War and the Christmas Truce but also to celebrate peace through reflecting on a moment in history that inspires humanitarianism.
Schools apply (FREE) on-line
FILL IN THE PAGE BELOW OR EMAIL US HERE AT THE NCFA firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants in the PEACE FIELD PROJECT receive:
- A PFP Plaque displayed at the designated area of play and the duplicate plaque displayed in Flanders Peace Fields, Peace Village, Mesen, Belgium.
- A joint PFP certificate from NCFA and Peace Village / Flanders Peace Field
- A PFP kite mark
- Online links with Peace Village / Flanders Peace Field and NCFA’s Football & Peace website with access to forum / quarterly newsletters / events.
- Each school will have their PFP home page on the Football & Peace website.
The aim of the PFP is to create peace makers for the future. Young people (inspired by the 1914 Christmas Truce) will absorb the essence of why fair play is important and begin to understand that sport can transcend conflict and cement friendships for life.
Lest We Forget
The PFP lends itself to cross curricular participation (sports, history, literacy, arts, humanities and citizenship), community cohesion and intergenerational relationships.
Schools are invited to sign a PFP Declaration, pledging to hold a games event once a year throughout the centenary years on their peace field to commemorate WW1 and celebrate peace.
The Peace Fields Project is open to primary schools, secondary schools and all sports clubs, promoting sportsmanship and equal opportunities.
The recent visit of Prince William highlighted the great work of the Perez Centre. Everyone at the NCFA are excited to work in partnership at the centre to create the first peace pitch in Israel. The Perez Centre will be an important stakeholder in the ever growing International Children’s Football Alliance, which aims to promote peace and protect childhood through play.
Peace and goodwill were very much the cornerstone of the Prince’s visit to Jaffa, a mixed Arab-Jewish soccer game in the historic city, today part of the Tel Aviv metropolis. The event was hosted by the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and the Equalizer organization, which both work to bring young people together across religious and ethnic boundaries, the Equalizer focusing particularly on sports.
The Prince showed off his soccer skills, taking penalty shots against some of the young people who had just played a short match against one another. As an Englishman, he was always going to miss the first one. But the prince dispatched the second to cheers from onlookers.
Club President & Director of TOPSoccer Hobe Sound Soccer Club, said, ‘We are honored and very much looking forward to twinning Hobe Sound Soccer Club with Flanders Peace Field’.We will kick off the twinning of our home field William G. “Doc” Myers Park with Flanders Peace Field at our “3V3 Live” Tournament on December 29, 2018. This 3V3 tournament is open to all area Clubs and teams. We are expecting to have 40 or more teams participating in this inaugural event. We are very much looking forward to this event.
Mick Gale (left) International Children’s Football Alliance, Peace Fields Project (PFP), Ambassador, presents the Hobe Sound Soccer Club, PFP to Justine Blanckaert, The Peace Village, Messines, Belgium. The presentation was made inside The Peace Village in front of The Christmas Truces statue. The Hobe Sound Soccer Club PFP plaque will be mounted on The Peace Wall at The Peace Pitch which over looks the site of the 1914 Christmas Truces.
The First Peace Pitch in Italy. ENDAS Ente Nazionale, facilitated the first Italian Peace Pitch in Terracina. Peace Ambassadors from Leonardo Da Vinci school who represented their community at the 2017 Global Peace Games proudly presented the peace poppy ball to Terracina’s designated area of play – their new peace pitch – which is now officially twinned with Flanders Peace Field, Mesen, Belgium, site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces.
Peace Field Project Manager, Pierpaolo Chiumera, said, ”We commemorate the extraordinary events that happened in the 1914 First World War at the Christmas Truces. We celebrate world peace through an act of humanitarianism – a moment in history that took place in No Mans Land. We have come to spread the principles of fair play, sharing, friendship and citizenship, through sports and social inclusion.”
The Peace Pitch is open to everyone, where the only goal is to socialize. Together with The National Children’s Football Alliance (UK) we help form the ever-growing International Children’s Football Alliance. (ICFA). An organisation that seeks to protect the universal interests of childhood through play. Two Peace Fields Project plaques where presented to the community in Terracina by students from Leonardo Da Vinci High School. The students represent Italy at the 2017 Global Peace Games where they participated in a peace education programme and gained recognition for their outstanding contribution to the United Nations International Day of Peace.
The students gained competencies in conflict resolution, communication and equality. The boys and girls received their certificates and passed on their experiences to the new participants who will be attending in September 2018. John Carmichael, ICFA, NED, said, ‘The fact that young Italian people are taking the lead to promote peace to all members of the community – it is a very important message in the current world climate. We are very proud that they value the past through commemoration and celebrate the future , through play and promoting peace.