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.’
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.
1. Why did Hobe Sound Soccer Club twin their soccer pitch with Flanders Peace Fields
HSSC- Answer 1.
Hobe Sound Soccer Club has always been interested in outreach programs and finding other ways that soccer can be a part of life education, character building for young athletes and families.
When this opportunity came along through Ambassador Mr Mick Gale who explained to us about the National Children Alliance its ethos and how it reaches many cultures through soccer participation which ultimately can help change young lives forever in such positive ways. Our decision to want to become involved in the Peace Field Pitch Project was easy along with our alliance member Ignite Sports Centre.
The stories of the ceasefire in World War 1 the impact that soccer had created to those giving their lives for a cause greater than their own we knew we had to bring the Hobe sound Soccer Club/Ignite Sports centre and the USA in to be a part of this project.
Involving our soccer club Hobe Sound and Ignite Sports Centre, Florida ultimately led to twinning with the Soccer Pitch of Flanders in Belgium. We are proud to be a participant not only for soccer but for all the cultural and educational opportunities that this may bring hence forth our board of directors saw the magnificence and importance of a creating a connection and relationship with another Town and Country it is truly a honour.
We feel to be able to communicate and share our soccer club/ sports centre and town with Flanders, is a wonderful impactful opportunity to experience and cultivate cultural differences. To have the ability to be able to take young people on a journey in the light of peace through soccer was foremost in our minds.
2. Who will benefit from playing on the peace pitch?
HSSC – Answer 2.
This opportunity will be open to all young soccer players within Hobe Sound Soccer Club/Ignite Sports Center and the surrounding areas. Hobe Sound Soccer club will arrange annual tournaments to highlight the peace pitch project and our twinning with the Flanders Peace Field creating opportunities for players to travel make connections around the world and participate in the Global Peace field Project games.
Our aim is invite the local Veterans to each event to appreciate and understand sacrifices made through WW1 and beyond.
Our hope is to bring camaraderie between our young soccer players and to those at the Peace Pitch Games in Flanders develop a connection where these young people can continue to communicate, learn about each different Countries and Cultures share new ideas and ways of life.
3. How will soccer coaches, facilitators and volunteers, promote the Peace
Pitch in terms of sportsmanship?
HSSC – Answer 3.
All of Hobe Sound Soccer/Ignite sports Center Coaches, Players and parents sign a code of conduct and are versed on sportsmanship and fair play Through education and information provided by HSSC/Ignite all coaches, volunteers and parents will understand the meaning of the peace pitch field events.
4. Will the Peace Pitch facilitate Peace Games / Tournaments annually on
21st Sept; International Day of Peace? How?
HSSC- Answer 4.
Hobe Sound Soccer Club and Ignite sports center will hold annual events at our Peace Pitch connected to the National Children’s Alliance and the Global Peace Pitch Games.
Hobe Sound Soccer Club and Ignite Sports will hold soccer related activities including a soccer tournament on the international day of peace weekend of 21st and 22nd of September dedicated to the Peace Fields Project. Our aim is to participate in The Global Peace Games in Belgium.
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.
Zenit Arena Bijeljina is to become the first Peace Pitch in Bosnia & Herzegovina
A peace tournament will be held on the weekend of 1st June to 3rd June. The tournament will raise money to provide Peace Field Project plaques which will twin the first ever peace pitch in Bosnia & Herzegovina with Flanders Peace Field, Messen, Belgium, site of the 1914 Christmas Truces.
The special guest at the young peoples tournament will be Žiko Kojić a local celebrity and ex-professional football player, he now he is the trainer in OFK Zenit. Ziko was born on 3.4.1972. in Bijeljina. Clubs that he played for (FK Loznica 1996, FK Radnik Bijeljina 1998 (best scorer), FK Rudar 1999 Ugljevik, FK Sutjeska Nikšić 2000, FK Radnik Bijeljina 2001-2006 (Premier league BiH). He played 20 games for Republic of Srpska National Football club form 1994-2003.
Tournament will be held on 2 locations Zenit arena and Arena in Ethno-village Stanisic both in Bijeljina. One of the sponsors will be Football Wire London. Around 150 selections of different generations 2011-2006 will compete.
St Bernard’s Primary School
Belfast BT6 0JS
Contact Name Kieran McTaggart
Website – www.stbernardsps.com
Cregagh Primary School
Mount Merrion Avenue
Belfast BT6 0FL
David Heggarty (Principal)
Website – www.cregaghprimary.org.uk
The football pitch that helped make George Best a football legend is to be a
Cregagh Green is where Best, renowned as one of the greatest ever footballers, first flashed his meteoric talent as a schoolboy in the 1950s.
It is situated in the east Belfast housing estate where he grew up.
It is the first pitch in Northern Ireland to twin with Flanders Peace Field, site of the 1914, First World War, Christmas Truces.
Cregagh Community Association with the support of Belfast City Council recognised the value of The Peace Fields Project, commemorating the First World War and celebrating peace.
The NCFA highlighted the connection of one of Northern Ireland’s greatest ever sportsmen that brought communities together with men and women, from the same communities that fought side by side in the First World War.
The Cregagh Green open space is protected “in perpetuity” through a legal deed of dedication between Belfast City Council and the Fields in Trust organisation.
Best’s legacy is truly celebrated in his home country. His legacy still brings communities together – the connection with the humanitarian at the Christmas Truces witnessed German and Allied soldiers come together, to play the game that inspired a legend.
Best was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1968 as he helped Man Utd win the European Cup, scoring twice in the 5-1 win of Benefica.
He was nicknamed El Beatle afterwards, at the height of Beatlemania.
Brazilian star Pele also reputedly described him as the greatest footballer in the world.
George Best became one of the greatest football icons of his day celebrated by all members of the community. His talent and determination spoke to a generation of young people that identified with his passion for the beautiful game.
George was the poster that boys and girls had on their bedroom wall. He was simply a cut above the rest.
George Best brought communities together and football was his domain for creative expression.
Robin McCabe, a childhood friend of Best, remembers playing against him on Cregagh Green.
“All we did was play football from morning to night,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.
“There was 10-a-side, 12-a-side, 15-a-side, everybody played, we were lucky we had a ball sometimes.
“Everybody played together – North Bank, which was the part George lived in, I lived at South Bank.
“We played challenge matches between North Bank and South Bank, maybe 20-a-side after teatime at night, you know, it just went on and on.
“We always thought that he needed a ball for himself and the rest of us needed a ball.
“Geordie, as he was called in them days, he ate the ball – he didn’t pass too much, but he was a great dribbler and everybody kicked him and he kicked everybody else and that’s just the way it was.”
Football is the peoples game. History is peppered with the power of football. The Peace Fields Project is a cross curricular peace education programme. It contextualizes history and inspires young people to become peace makers for the future.