Honour Roll Sports Programme Brings P7s Together | Shared Housing

A boy running sporting drills | NICRC

More than 200 children from four primary schools in North Belfast have been taking part in a series of sports-themed workshops to help prepare them for the transition to “big school” next year thanks to a project managed by Clanmil Housing.

Clanmil worked with Sport Changes Life to deliver workshops over a 10-week period from September 2022 to P7 students from St Marys on the Hill, Ashgrove Primary, Whitehouse Primary and Glengormley Integrated Primary. The workshops were part of Clanmil’s good relations work in the Newtownabbey area where it currently provides homes in two shared neighbourhoods at Felden and Glenwhirry/Glendun.

The highlight of the project was a prizegiving event at the Valley Leisure Centre when the children received their Certificates of Achievement. 

During the programme, coaches from Sport Changes Life delivered 90-minute sessions, which included team-based sports followed by an interactive workshop. The sessions allowed the young people to learn about team building, resilience, dealing with bullying, online safety and how to stay healthy. They also discussed community relations and developing an understanding of different religious and cultural backgrounds.

Gerard Rosato, Community Cohesion officer with Clanmil said:

“We’re delighted to see more than 200 children collecting their awards today after completing the 10-week Honour Roll course. It’s been great working with Sport Changes Life once again.  This is one of many cross-community initiatives we’ve delivered as part of our good relations work in the Newtownabbey area. The Honour Roll project was funded through the Department of Communities TBUC/Housing for All initiative.”

Colin Mcilwaine, Community Engagement Coordinator for Sport Changes Life, said;

“The values that our coaches teach are about much more than sports skills – we teach the young people based on the Olympic games model, so it’s about inclusivity and respecting differences. For many P7s, this has been a stressful time, as many of them have been preparing for AQE exams. But these sessions give them a chance to relax and have fun, while also building up confidence.”

The Honour Roll initiative is a “bridging” programme that was developed from the Felden Good Relations Plan. Bridging events and programmes are delivered to the wider community to encourage a range of good relations outcomes which relate to health and wellbeing, education and training.

Felden in Newtownabbey is one of several Clanmil shared housing developments across Northern Ireland and was established in 2016 as part of the NI Executive Together: Building A United Community Strategy. The development is also supported by the Department for Communities and the NI Housing Executive, with £6.03m funding invested in the scheme and associated five-year Good Relations Plan.

Clanmil continues to work in partnership with the Felden Advisory Group stakeholders and residents to develop the scheme’s Good Relations Plan, which seeks to build good relationships and a sustainable community.