St Bernard’s Primary School
Belfast BT6 0JS
Contact Name Kieran McTaggart
Website – www.stbernardsps.com
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
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.
Gesamtschule, Heiligenhaus and Woodlands School, Basildon, Essex, England re-enacted the 1914 Christmas Truces today as part of their commitment to The Peace Fields Project. The event was attended by special guest Alison Rose, British Ambassador to Belgium. Alison said, ‘It is important that young people learn about The Christmas Truces. It is a moment in history that speaks to all cultures, young and old’. Organised by Forget Never – Sacrifice and Legacy, the event was covered by national and regional media.
Bryntirion Comprehensive School have completed a number of projects commemorating the First World War, most significantly a memorial in the School Foyer. This features the names of over 50 soldiers who fell from our catchment area during the War, all of whom were researched by our students. Andrew Shell (History teacher) said, we also hold a whole-school Remembrance Service and cross curricular WWI day on 11th November each year. Our local research was developed further during our annual Battlefields visit, as pupils now lay poppies at the graves and memorials connected to their relatives and others connected to the school. It was on our visit to the regions of The First World War that we saw the leaflets regarding the Peace Field Project. We are looking forward to pledging to continue our research and commemorations well beyond the centenary. The school are excited by the prospect of being the first school in Wales to twin our playing fields with Flanders Peace Fields.
Valour Patriots Football is a proud member of the Manitoba Minor Football Association (MMFA). Ours is a program based on the fundamentals of inclusion, embracing diversity, and ensuring every youth who wants to play is given the opportunity. Our name and logo are tributes to the history of Valour Rd., which Valour Community Centre is named for.
After a generation without a minor football program based in Winnipeg’s West End, Patriots Football was established in 2009. Our first season saw 65 players registered at three age levels (Terminator, Atom, and Peewee). In 2012, the numbers grew to 120 players and include all age groups within the MMFA.
Through the hard work of our players and coaches, the quality of our teams has steadily improved, and there are no easy games for opposition teams at Patriots Field. On game days, the large crowds of enthusiastic family members, friends, and supporters transform the neighborhood into a busier, and much noisier place!
Patriots Football recognizes and acknowledges the strong history of football in West Winnipeg by honoring leaders from its past. The Leo Ezerins Patriot Pride Award, and the Dave Donaldson Defensive Player Award are awarded annually by their namesakes to deserving players.
Jimmy Marnoch, GENERAL MANAGER, VALOUR COMMUNITY CENTRE, writes; the history of the Valour Road area of Winnipeg.
Valour Road runs north-south thru the West End of Winnipeg MB. Formerly known as Pine Street, the name of the street changed to Valour Road after 3 residents of the street all received the Victoria Cross for actions of bravery during WW1.
The West End is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, and formed the West End of the old City of Winnipeg before Winnipeg merged together with several other surrounding municipalities. So, in actual fact, there are several other neighborhoods located to the west of the West End, and the West End is actually in the “Core Area” of the new City of Winnipeg.
The West End is a largely working class neighborhood, and it is very diverse (home to many Metis Canadians, Indigenous Canadians, and Canadians of European, Asian, and African descent).
In addition to the Metis, Indigenous, and Anglo-Canadian families living here, the West End has always been a home to new immigrants as well (Icelanders formed a large part of the population earlier in the 1900’s (side note, the first gold medal in Olympic ice hockey was won by the Winnipeg Falcons – a team made up largely of Icelandic immigrants from the West End), Portuguese and Filipino families began immigrating to the area in the 70’s and still make up a significant portion of population, and more recently many families of African and Middle Eastern origins have settled in the neighborhood).
The West End was formerly served by 3 community centres (Clifton, Isaac Brock, and Orioles). Those three centres merged operations in 2006, and renamed under the banner Valour Community Centre, and the sports teams adopted the name Valour Patriots (logos are attached).
Here is a short “Heritage Minute” video that aired on Canadian TV dramatizing the history behind the Valour Road name. https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/valour-road
Here is a very quick rundown of Valour Road from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valour_Road
Here is another article from the Winnipeg Free Press going into a bit more detail. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Valour-Road-Victoria-Cross-medals-find-new-home-at-war-museum-177329951.html
And here is a link to Valour Community Centre’s website. http://valourcc.ca/
The Peace Village are the custodians of one of the world’s most poignant football pitch. To play a game of football at Flanders Fields is more than a game. The whole experience contextualizes football way beyond the modern game’ Flanders Peace Pitch is the most level playing field you will every play on’, says, Matti Vandemeale, Director of The Peace Village’.
The Peace Village celebrated its 10th birthday this year. Can you summarise what have been the highlights in the last 10 years?
The first thing that was important was that we had to fill the ‘hostel’ with people coming over. Now we reach 20,000 people a year who come to visit the battlefields from across the world. Second thing we achieved was to create meaningful and interesting peace projects for our guests. We try to offer young and old visitors, projects, ceremonies, workshops and sports activities – including football, to help them making ‘peace’ more concrete. I am glad we reached the point of being more than just the best bed and breakfast in the region. We are also an active actor in making peace events and guiding people in the region. I’m also proud that we could translate the story of the Christmas truces into concrete projects e.g. the Global Peace Games, The Peace Field Project and International Day of Peace with the NCFA and partners.
What is the best part about your job and why?
The best part is for me when we can ‘help’ one of the young people visiting the region in giving him / her an experience with a lifelong memory of their visit. Sometimes we have ‘challenging’ groups of young and older people who may have special needs or come from difficult backgrounds and when we engage them in history, they contextualise their home lives with the incredible stories of the First World War, especially The Christmas Truces.
The Peace Village receives over 20,000 guests a year. What memories do you think they take back home and what kind of messages do they leave in the visitor’s book?
Mostly get positive feedback. We try to do our best in giving them the things they need and even more. The memories they take home are usually from the tour they did in the region. They general connect with the awesome amount of facts, stats and names, of soldiers that came from around the world to fight in The First World War can have a positive impact. We bespoke our programmes to meet the needs of many different communities and cultures. Things that may work for one person / group doesn’t necessarily work for another person / group. It’s the tour guiding in the region that makes us special. It is the excellent facilities that provide a relaxing trip. So, when they go home with a good feeling we here at The Peace Village are happy too.
The Peace Village and The NCFA continue to inspire young peacemakers for the future through the Peace Fields Projects, Global Peace Games and International Day of Peace. How difficult is it to generate funding for these projects and why is finding funding so difficult?
I believe in the kind of projects that we do with the NCFA. They are unique in terms of formal and informal learning. The problem is that we must conform to a tick box culture. Funding streams are regimental they are very difficult to adapt to with what we do here and funding streams do not consider the long-term sustainability of any one project in terms of development. They tend to be focused on a current elective government policy which hinders and sense of unity. The projects we achieve with The NCFA are cross-curricular based, they engage young people in football, sports and sportsmanship. In addition, the projects involve history, art, languages, citizenship, conflict resolution and debates on peace. Funders tend to be more myopic focused on individual projects. Our projects are a combination of elements, which can be viewed currently as a weakness rather than funders sharing the vision as a strength.
What would you like to see The Peace Village achieve in the next 10 years?
I hope we can reach more people with the educational and project work we are doing, I hope our collaboration in football and sports with the NCFA continues to make peace makers for the future and that we can find funding to work on a permanent base without everyday funding concerns. I hope we can play an active role in peace building across the world. So, projects where we make the link between WWI and conflicts and working with young people in solving these conflicts of today.
For more information about The Peace Village click on: http://www.peacevillage.be/
Thank you to Roselyn Roy a dear friend of the project who helped us with the translation of the interview.
An interview by Christoph Mbedi, Responsible for the Tala Mosika Project and journalist, with Jean-Marie Vianney Nshombo, Ciperfoot, Coordinator of the Football Initiation and Development Centre.
Q: Would you please, Mr. Jean-Marie, introduce yourself to our viewers and provide us with information on your organization and on the work that you do.
A: Thank you very much Mr. Christoph, Mr. the Journalist. My name is Jean-Marie Vianney Nshombo, Coordinator of the Football Initiation and Development Centre Ciperfoot. We are a not-for-profit organization under the Congolese law, created on May 29 2010 and we have a sport school that includes environment, health and education aiming at tutoring unprivileged orphan children and other children to help them reach graduation.
Q: What are the objective and the mission of you work?
A: As I said earlier in my introduction, we wish to educate children, starting from their existing -or not- talent in football, in order to provide them with a future and make them efficient towards themselves and society, using football as an opportunity, which in fact is the basic activity of our organization.
Q: Who benefits from your organization and how do you wish they benefit from it?
A: We target young children aged between 9 and 15, and we hope that all, girls and boys, can learn how to play football, as well as get a life discipline. We educate them so that they become useful to society and to the nation.
Q: Within your organization, who works for the organization and who does volunteer work?
A: Our organization counts 12 founding members, who are all volunteers, tough three of them are technical trainers who get a small retribution.
Q:Can you tell us on which days are your activities are spread?
A: We work almost all week. The football training with the kids take place on odd days. After class, the kids take a rest and eat, and get back to the field around 2:00 or 3:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Even days allow the technical trainers to prepare the training sessions for the kids.
Q: What is the importance of fun, pleasure and sport in what you do?
A: As coaches confirm, football is a fun and pleasant sport. The kid must, first of all, feel the pleasure of playing, and offer the audience that same pleasure. It is important to us that the kids be in good health, strong and efficient. When they aim to join other teams as good players, they must be able to keep and live the pleasure of playing, in order to stay away from violence and other mischiefs. The fun of playing must remain central today and in the future.
Q: What advantage does the Peace football offer to education?
A: Through the FIFA Fairplay Code that we received, kids learn to support each other. They learn to like each other before, during and after the game or after the practice, or after a particular game. Therefore they benefit from an education on self-control, and on the pleasure of giving and being in peace with their neighbor, on offering peace to their neighbor. This aspect is very important to us in our organization and in our curriculum developed for the kids.
Q: Mr. Jean-Marie, between us, is childhood important in Democratic Republic of Congo?
A: Yes, Democratic Republic of Congo has children everywhere, of all ages and even in conflict zones. The child needs a place to play, the child needs to a place to laugh, to scream and to move around. DRC, as other countries, is well aware of this and makes efforts, as other countries around us do, to provide the children with this necessary space to play and provide peace to all children. A broken child will not be able to give in his life. So our organization aims at helping DRC to provide the kids with this space for peace, pleasure and development.
Q: Do you think that, once in place, peace will provide kids and adults a reason to promote peace through play?
A: Yes, as soon as kids start playing, as soon as they reach the football field, we see adults interested join them, they come and watch, and we see that they take pleasure in watching the children play. And if during a game there is a conflict between players, we see parents, even though there are coaches on site, we see parents and adults intervene to resolve the conflict, to bring peace back on the site, to bring peace back around the ball. Promotion of peace is intrinsic to the hearth of the adults. Children, while growing around them, get this importance of peace and make it their own. A peace they will keep, promote and offer around them. So peace is always important to both adults and children on a football field, even though it is a contact sport. It is important to learn to understand each other, it is important to learn to shake hands and make piece once and for all.
Q: Do you think Mr. Jean-Marie, that the link with schools from around the world will be appreciated by the kids and the adults living in the village?
A: We are proud and we thank the Peace Field Project. It is important to us to thank them and tell them that we have hope in seeing this link with our village materialize. This twinning will bring a lot to the village. We are in a village where people still do not know themselves, a village that does not realize what it really is. But gradually, with help and support from this great organization, we think that this twinning will be of wonderful help and support to the village. So we insist that they come and help us promote the village, promote the kids and promote all who will eventually join us in this great development project so that the whole village and the kids become wonderful citizens of this country and of the world.
I thank you.