Enniskillen Youth Travel to Kingspan As Part of Peace Initiative
Enniskillen Rugby Club Under 16 Boys and Girls have been participating in a cross border programme with Killinkere GAA Club over the last two weekends, with the objective of forming positive and effective relationships with youngsters from different backgrounds and help build a more cohesive society.
Club representatives met in late 2017 to discuss this exciting and worthwhile programme, and it was decided to seek funding to facilitate a variety of activities over the Autumn/Spring of 2018/19, through The Special European Union Programmes Body in association with Cavan County Council and the Peace 4 Programme.
With the appropriate funding in place ,it was decided to organise three daytime activities one of which would include an overnight stay at Killinkere Rectory Activity Centre in Cavan.
On Saturday 24th October over 40 youngsters from Enniskillen travelled down to Killinkere for a very busy day of team building exercises and joint training sessions which were well received by all involved and culminated in a Game Of Two Halves where skills and tactics from both codes were incorporated to give the players a valuable insight into these two different but similar team sports.
The facilities at Killinkere allowed further building of joint friendships with a table quiz in the evening to keep all entertained. The group returned to Enniskillen on Sunday keenly anticipating the following Saturday’s trip to Belfast where a Peace Walk and the Ulster fixture against the Cardiff Blues awaited them.
The Peace Walk took place on the interface between the Shankill and Falls roads with information being provided by guides from both sides of the community. The young adults had been split into two even groups incorporating individuals from both clubs and found it very interesting, if a somewhat sobering experience, to hear of the “Troubles” and see the murals and remembrance gardens commemorating the fallen from both the Two World Wars and also the conflict which cost so many lives on our own Island.
After a lunch break, the group travelled over to the Kingspan Stadium for the afternoon kickoff of the Ulster game and, once again, the group mixed and mingled while watching the home team prevail in a scrappy but ultimately successful win over a spirited Cardiff team.
The whole venture has been a success in all aspects for Enniskillen RFC and their hard working volunteer coaches who have driven the venture. Both coaches and players have benefitted greatly from these joint events with their willing collaborators Killinkere GAA Club. The help of the Funding Bodies has been integral in providing an opportunity to take part in this exceptional and worthwhile collaboration which encourages young people to develop close friendships through their respective sports. The programme will culminate in the spring of 2019 when the Skins contingent plan to travel to watch a GAA fixture.