PeacePlayers Summer Jam Tournament 2024

PeacePlayers Summer Jam | NICRC

Summer Jam, the annual cross-community basketball tournament from PeacePlayers, welcomed over 200 young people, as well as the Deputy First Minister and Junior Ministers.

The Community Relations Council supports PeacePlayers NI through its Core Funding Scheme.

Summer Jam is an end of term celebration that brings children and young people from all backgrounds together from some of Northern Ireland’s historically most divided areas. It took place on 1 June 2024 from 1 – 5 PM at Queen’s PEC, where children and young people aged 8 – 14 worked together on integrated, co-ed teams to compete for the title of Summer Jam Champions, awarded to the team who demonstrated the most sportsmanship throughout the course of the day. 

Summer Jam is more than just a tournament; it is a celebration of all the hard work the participants have put in leading up to the event through their various programmes. There is music, dancing, and, more importantly, lots of happy faces. As a neutral space, Summer Jam provides an opportunity for young people from different backgrounds to come together without the baggage of the past. Not only are they competing on teams with kids their age from a different background to their own, but they’re also competing, connecting, and dancing with kids on other mixed teams from other areas of Northern Ireland that they may never have met otherwise. 

The event has grown to the extent that it requires PeacePlayers to take over both minor and large halls within Queens PEC with participants coming from six different council areas: Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council; Ards and North Down Borough Council; Belfast City Council; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Mid-Ulster District Council; and Newry Mourne and Down District Council. This year PeacePlayers hosted a total of 326 attendees, 165 participants, 87 volunteers (PeacePlayers Coaches, staff, board, Leadership Development Programmes participants, DePauw University students and friends of PeacePlayers), and 74 visitors (family members, VIPs and more). 

During the day, the event hosted Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly and Junior Ministers Pam Cameron and Aisling Reilly who enjoyed getting involved in all the action, connecting with participants, shooting some hoops and getting a real understanding of the importance and impact of the work that PeacePlayers does.

Watch the video produced of the Ministers’ visit.