18 sports clubs from across the Fermanagh and Omagh district have had the opportunity to form relationships and support peace building and cross community interaction through a range of sporting activities under the PEACE IV Cross Community Twinning Programme.
The Cross Community Twinning Programme was one of 16 projects in the Fermanagh and Omagh PEACE IV Local Action Plan to benefit from a total funding package of £2.8m to deliver projects across three key strands; Shared Spaces and Services, Children and Young People and Building Positive Relations at a local level. The project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Participating clubs clustered with other clubs to take part in a range of sporting and team-building activities, meeting regularly over a number of months to promote their facilities, encourage new relationships and enhance community cohesion.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council marked the end of the successful PEACE IV Cross Community Twinning Programme with a celebration event at the Manor House Hotel, Killadeas recently.
Speaking at the celebration event, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie said:
“The Cross Community Twinning Programme has provided opportunities for sports clubs to engage with other clubs from beyond their own sports and take part in sports that they do not traditionally participate in. It also afforded their members the chance to develop new skills and gain coaching and sporting qualifications. I congratulate all the groups who have participated in the programme and I am confident that it will have a lasting and positive impact on your respective communities and indeed across our shared community.”
The celebration event also featured a panel discussion with Tyrone Ladies Gaelic Football All Ireland winning captain and Northern Ireland International Netball player, Neamh Woods and Harry McConkey, manager of Ballinamallard United Football Club, hosted by sports columnist, Liam Beckett.
Sports clubs that participated on the PEACE IV Cross Community Twinning Programme included Mountjoy United FC, Strule United FC, Fermanagh SuperCupNI, Lakeland Special Olympics Club, Ballinamallard United FC, Coa O’Dwyers GAA, Trillick St. Macartans GAA, Enniskillen Gaels Ladies GAA, Enniskillen Rugby FC, Omagh St Endas GAA, Omagh Boxing Academy, Youth Sport Omagh, Lisbellaw United FC, Lisnaskea Rovers FC, Erne Gaels GAA, NFC Kesh, Splitz Gymnastics Club and Erne Boxing Club.
Match-funding for the project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.