Derry to get first ever 'Peace Pitch'

Organisers of a unique sports heritage initiative have brought together the north’s Football Association, GAA, Ulster Rugby, Ulster Hockey, Peace Players and many more children’s sports to celebrate our shared history.

The Children’s Football Alliance (CFA) has been awarded a £67,000 grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards its Football Makes Our Shared History (FMOSH) project, which will culminate in an exhibition of children’s research on how sports contribute to our shared history and creating peace pitches by twinning their designated areas of play with Flanders Peace Field, site of the First World War, 1914, Christmas truces. Thanks to the Lottery grant, people of all ages across the north, including schoolchildren, will research the impact of sport on local communities and how it’s helped shape a contemporary society.

Foyle Down Syndrome Trust (FDST) will twin the first ever peace pitch in Derry with Flanders Peace Field, site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces. Friday, October 14, at Foyle Arena, FDST will be hosting a Peace Games Event and displaying their football history at the event and online via Foyle Down Syndrome Trust Facebook and Football Makes Our Shared History website.

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CFA Project Director, Ernie Brennan said: “FMOSH is the essence of play. We are delighted that NI’s great sporting associations value community games of all disciplines. We look forward to seeing the children’s work and how they connect to their games with their parents, grandparents, relatives and friends, games. This is about the historic nature of play and how it continues to shape our landscape.”

Group pictured in the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust’s offices in The Shared Future centre, Waterside, at the launch of the National Children’s Football Alliance sponsored ‘Football makes our Shared History ‘project. Included in the photograph are Ernie Brennan, managing director, National Children’s Football Alliance, on the left, staff members Conor McGilloway and Sue McElwee and Christopher Cooper, manager FDST. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2206GS – 066

FMOSH will leave a legacy in each of the six counties. There are currently 60 peace pitches in 5 continents. For more information, visit: peace/international/international-peace-field-projects/