BCSDN creating a better future for Northern Ireland!
Northern Ireland has a long history of community division and is a prime example of a setting where sport has often been the instrument of social and political conflict rather than a medium for peace. However, if managed effectively with awareness of audience and purpose, sport can be the perfect tool for promoting positive individual and collective development. It has the power to build bridges to a better future, which is the mission statement shared by Belfast Community Sports Development Network.
BCSDN was set up in October 2006 as a company with a charitable status. It is now a well-established organisation known for its ability to deliver a variety of projects and programmes under health, employment, training and education, personal development and community regeneration and community relations. BCSDN mainly work within the areas of social and economic deprivation across the city, with the aim to increase participation in sport and physical recreation especially among under-represented groups.
Youth work is a core element of BCSDN’s mission and young people’s programmes provide the foundation for this, such as the Sheer SKILL Programme. The Sheer SKILL programme is aimed at schools and young people working at GCSE Level and/or A Levels in Physical Education. In the past number of years it has offered young people valuable and practical work experience in a safe and fun environment and the opportunity to enhance their CVs.
The programme strongly supports cross-community relations further developing pupils’ interpersonal skills. The idea is that schools operate under a ‘twinning’ system, joining with a partner school from a different community. The aim of this scheme is to use sports as a medium through which young people can create better links and relationships with other communities, while creating a platform for their future goals. Up until this present year, the programme has had a lot of interest from schools willing to work with other communities and schools to encourage positive relations and learning. BCSDN now wish to promote this scheme again to regain interest from both communities and ensure that this programme will continue to deliver what it promises in providing ‘Skilled Knowledge and Igniting Lifelong Learning.’
The programme’s previous success is evident in the number of young people that have gone on to 3rd level education and undertaken higher level coaching courses as a result. The programme has operated successfully for ten years now and is open to young people from all over Belfast. It is a fantastic stepping stone for young adults into their future careers and allows them the opportunity to create lifelong friendships and relationships with other young people from different communities.
If you would like to find out more about this scheme or any other work BCSDN do, please do hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team by sending an email- firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone- 02890297661.
For more information contact:
Niamh O’ Neill (Marketing/PR Officer)
Belfast Community Sports Development Network (www.bcsdn.org)
07856708822 / 02890297661