The National Children’s Football Alliance, The Peace Village and GroepINTRO, facilitated football for fun games for refugees on International Day of Peace, 21st September, 2016. For more information on how an International Children’s Football Alliance can create Peace Makers For The Future contact www.childrensfootballalliance.com
THE FIRST CLUB IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Bainbridge Island Football Club, Seattle, USA are the first soccer club in the States of America to twin their soccer pitch with Flander’s Peace Field, site of the 1914 Christmas Truces. Paul Cooper, National Projects Director at The International Children’s Football Allaince presented Matti Vandemeale, Director of The Peace Village, BIFC’s Peace Field Project Plaque on the United Nations International Day of Peace (21st September, 2016) in Messines, Belgium.
A very special ceremony took place this week to commemorate one of the most poignant and significant football matches of all time. Our Academy playing field on the East Campus was twinned with Flanders Peace Field, Messines, Belgium, site of the First World War 1914 Christmas Truce when English and German troops on the front line, put down their weapons and temporarily ceased hostilities to play a game of football.
Our Academy is only one of four schools in the country to have this honour bestowed on their playing fields and the ceremony today was the first to be held.
Oasis Academy students have been involved with the National Children’s Football Alliance Peacefield Project from its inception three years ago. Students have attended history workshops, created exhibitions (currently on display at Maidstone Museum.), and participated in a football tournament in Messine, Belgium competing against other students from all over Europe .
The aim of the Project is to create peacemakers 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.
Invited guests, the Mayor of Swale, Councillor Lesley Ingham, and students were lead to the field by Standard Bearers from The Buffs and the British Legion.
During the twinning ceremony, in the presence of Paul Auston Esq, DL, Deputy Lieutenant, representing the Queen, David Millar, Executive Principal, John Cavadino, Associate Principal and Colin Farley from the NCFA signed the PFP Declaration, pledging to hold a games event once a year to commemorate WW1 and celebrate peace.
During his speech Ernie Brennan from NCFA reminded students and invited guests of how close Messines, Belgium is to the Isle of Sheppey and encouraged them to always remember those who played in the WW1 match and the importance of peace in the world.
Academy students Patrycja Kowalska (Year 10), Aisha Thwaites and Aailiegha Leslie (Year 8) read Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Dulce et Decorum’, after which the playing field was blessed by Jeanette McLaren Chaplain.
A commemorative plaque was unveiled and presented by Paul Auston Esq, DL to the Academy which will be hung in our main Reception. DL Auston spoke of the milions who gave their lives and as a result, how young people can now play sport in peace and harmony.
Finally, The Last Post was played by Year 11 student, Emily Collins – a real honour for Emily on the day before her sixteenth birthday.
Pupils from all eleven primary schools on the Island watched the ceremony and then took part in a 5-a-side football tournament on the Academy 3G pitch. It was a really enjoyable, closely fought contest with all teams displaying a high level of skill. Third place went to Queenborough; second place awarded to St George’s Primary and Iwade snatched first place on goal difference. All students received tournament medals and a commemorative NCFA Football. In addition, Gillingham FC presented the tournament winners with a signed football.
The final event was a re-enactment of the Christmas Truce match by Academy students in Years 7 & 8 dressed as WW1 troops. Just as the score drew level at 1-1 the heavens opened and sadly the match had to be abandoned.
Executive Principal David Millar said “Today has been a very special day. We are honoured to be one of only four schools in the country to have their playing field twinned with Messines. Many of our students are involved in cadet forces and can trace strong military links through their family history. Over the next few weeks, many of us will be cheering on our favourite teams and players in Euro 2016, but I can guarantee that none of the matches we enjoy will be as memorable as that of the WW1 Christmas Truce and nor will any of today’s football stars be as heroic as those who served their countries.”
The First International Children’s Football Alliance (ICFA), Peace Pitch, Nagpur, India.
Slum Soccer celebrated the twinning their Academy football pitch with Flanders Peace Field and The Peace Village, Messine, Belgium, site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces. The Peace Field plaque (sponsored by Jones Lang Lasalle, JLL) was presented to V’jay Barse the founder of Slum Soccer by Ernie Brennan, Managing Director of the National Children’s Football Alliance.
The event facilitated a series of football games for boys and girls. The special guests were students from Frankfurt University who were on a study trip in India;
‘It was an honor to take part in the twinning ceremony. We are here to observe how non government organisations work in the third sector. Observing how the National Children’s Football Alliance (NCFA) UK work together with Slum Soccer has been a fascinating and inspiring experience which all my students will benefit from’. Prof. Dr. Alexandra Caspari.
‘This is a very important part of Slum Soccer to have a peace pitch that promotes play to young and old people. The connection with the First World War’s, 1914, Christmas Truces and India, is a valuable historical and modern day learning tool. We will promote peace through play and continue to work with our partners to ensure all children benefit from football’. Dr V’jay Barse, Slum Soccer.
‘This is a great idea and I think all the Slum Soccer players, coaches and parents, will understand that we coach football to everyone but we also teach good values that promote peace’. Homkant Surandase, Slum Soccer, Head Coach.
There is a lot to gain from twinning a football pitch with Flanders Peace Field. The universal message of peace lends itself to sportsmanship, equality, humanitarianism and citizenship. Coaches use the 1914 Christmas Truces’ football match as a valuable learning tool in terms of community cohesion.
Slum Soccer will use the Peace Pitch to bring people together. The educational aspect of the Peace Pitch draws on a cross-curricular programme incorporating history, literature, cultural diversity and peace making. It is hoped that the Peace Pitch will facilitate all-inclusive peace tournaments and bring together further funding opportunities for local, regional and National companies to help support the good work of Slum Soccer and all their children.
Chailey School are the first school in England to Twin with Flanders Peace Field
Monday 9th May 2016
This week has seen the official handing over of Chailey School’s ‘Peace Field’ plaque by Ernie Brennan, Managing Director of the National Children’s Football Alliance. Two years ago, the school took an enthusiastic lead in the national and international ‘Peace Field Project’ which called upon schools to dedicate playing fields to peace in commemoration of the Christmas Truces on the Western Front in 1914. This moment of history that inspired humanitarianism, rather than bloodshed and conflict, is the historical focal point of the project.
Since 2014 and also as part of their own ‘Chailey and The Great War’ project, the school has organised annual football tournaments for local primary schools on the field, attended by representatives of the NCFA and also The Royal British Legion. At the last of these events, Mr Brennan presented a ‘Poppy Ball’, marking this twinning with Flanders Peace Field and the Peace Village at Messines in Belgium (site of the 1914 Christmas Truce).
This plaque then marks the next stage, and a copy of the plaque will also be formally handed over in a ceremony at the Peace Village at Messines. Chailey will be the first British School to be represented there in this way, and it is delighted to be at the forefront of such a project.
The Peace Fields Project (PFP) provides opportunities of schools to twin their designated areas of play with one of the world’s most famous areas of play, Flanders Peace Field. In 1914 Flanders Field witnessed the First World War’s Christmas Truces where Allied and German soldiers put down their weapons, met in no-mans-land, shuck hands, exchanged gifts and played some football.
The historic event has become synonymous with acts of humanitarianism throughout the history of the world. School teachers, sports coaches and educationalists around the world recognise the value of the Christmas Truces in 1914.
Commemorating war and celebrating peace, through the PFP lends itself to cross-curricular activities, inter-generational relationships, citzenship, social inclusion and community cohesion.
Contextualising the events throughout the First World War helps young people contemplate the realities of war and in the case of the Christmas Truces, the role of sport in the First World War.
‘We are very proud to be the first school in the country to twin our playing field with Flanders Peace Field. Our Peace Field will promote friendship and sportsmanship in the spirit of the Christmas Truces.’ Lesley Young, Head Teacher.
The PFP Declaration pledges Chailey School’s commitment to peace and promoting fair play. Chailey School’s playing field is forever twinned with Flanders Peace Field, a legacy to the First World War and a modern day memorial to peace.
‘The 100 year commemoration of the First World War gives our school a legacy where all the games played on the peace field will advocate fair play.’ Tim Dudgeon, Assistant Head Teacher.
Chailey School’s PFP plaque will be displayed overlooking their peace field. A second plaque with Chailey School’s name on it will be displayed at Flanders overlooking the site of the 1914 Christmas Truces.
‘Chailey School is a forward thinking school. Its commitment to their pupils’ education is clearly witnessed in being the first school in England to twin their playing field with Flanders Peace Field.’ Ernie Brennan, Director, NCFA.
‘Twining Chailey School playing field with Flanders Peace Field will benefit all our pupils, staff and community. The PFP commemorating war and celebrating peace is a poignant way for our pupils to engage in history and their future.’ David Whelpton, Board of Governors, Chailey School.
David Evennett, MP, Acting Minister for Sport, Heritage and Tourism, talks to the National Children’s Football Alliance about the Peace Fields Project and the impact on the legacy of the First World War’s centenary years.
To support the Peace Fields Project, click here for more information on how to twin your school’s or club’s football pitch with Flanders Peace Field, site of the First World War, 1914, Christmas Truces
Gateways to the First World War
Lecture by Dr Emma Hanna
At University of Kent
Kent Hub Schools: Abbey School, Herne Bay High School, High Weald Academy, Oasis Academy, Isle of Sheppey and Thamesview School attended the Gateways to the First World War lecture given by Dr Emma Hanna. The lecture was an important part of the schools’ Peace Fields Project. Students will use their notes to help research and compile an exhibition of their work which will be displayed at their respective Peace Field twinning ceremonies in June 2016.
Peace Field Football Tournament
Chailey School, Thursday 15th October 2015
Chailey School are the first Network School to kick off the Peace Fields Project (PFP) Tournaments. Assistant Head, Tim Dudgeon, led the way for network schools participating in the PFP, commemorating the First World War and celebrating peace through play. The event will be followed-up with the school receiving a plaque next year twinning Chailey School playing fields with Flanders Peace Fields, Messines, Belgium, site of the First World War Christmas Truces.
It was time for Chailey School’s now annual ‘Peace Field Football Tournament’ on Thursday! This tournament is also part of Chailey School’s ongoing commemoration project on ‘Chailey and The Great War’, the school’s continuing links with local primary schools, and also an important nation-wide project with the National Children’s Football Alliance. Local primary schools from Ditchling, Fletching, Hamsey, Wivelsfield, Plumpton, Newick, Barcombe and Danehill all played with enthusiasm and considerable skill, with both sporting competition and fair play being key parts of the afternoon. Mr Dudgeon, Assistant Headteacher at Chailey School, welcomed Ernie Brennan, Managing Director of the NCFA, to start the event with a ceremony of handing over a ‘Poppy Ball’, marking the school’s playing fields twinning with Flanders Peace Field and the Peace Village at Messines in
Belgium (site of the 1914 Christmas Truce). The nation-wide Peace Field Project has invited schools not only to commemorate World War One and the Christmas Truce but also to celebrate peace through reflecting on a moment in history that inspires humanitarianism, and Chailey School is proud to be at the forefront of this and one of the first schools to be involved.
The afternoon, organized by Chailey’s Ms Davey, and refereed and run by the school’s Year 9 Junior Sports Leaders, saw some great football being played in a sporting spirit. In the end, Ditchling won the Year 3 and 4 competition (Wivelsfield and Fletching the Fair Play Award) and Hamsey the Year 5 and 6 (with Plumpton and Hamsey winning the award for Fair Play at that level).