The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) was delighted to take Carl “The Jackal” Frampton, World Champion Boxer and NICIE patron on a whistle stop tour of integrated schools this week. Carl made dreams come true for hundreds of children when he visited Cranmore Integrated Primary School in South Belfast, Cliftonville Integrated Primary School and Hazelwood Integrated College, both in his native North Belfast, before finishing the day in one of the newest integrated schools, Mallusk Integrated Primary School.
Carl, who famously became a three-time world champion over two weight divisions, is a huge supporter of Integrated Education. Commenting on his decision to go public about this, Carl said “I am delighted to say that I fully support Integrated Education in Northern Ireland. It is great to see children and young people from all communities having the opportunity to learn together under one roof on a daily basis. That’s what integrated education offers, children can make friends and get to know one another no matter what their community background is. It’s my belief that this will make a big difference to their lives. Integrated Education is definitely the way forward and this has been an amazing day that I will never forget.”
Commenting on Carl’s support for Integrated Education, NICIE Chief Executive Officer, Roisin Marshall said, “To say we are thrilled is an understatement. We in NICIE are absolutely delighted to have Carl join us as a patron and it’s fantastic for us to have him showing such support for our important work. We are extremely grateful for the generosity Carl has shown us.”
During the visits, Carl engaged in a range of activities with children and young people which included being welcomed to Cranmore with a rousing rendition of “Something Inside So Strong”, signing a wall mural in Hazelwood Integrated College, meeting the School Council in Cliftonville IPS and enjoying outdoor activities and fabulous singing at Mallusk Integrated Primary School, one of the newest integrated schools.
Paying tribute to the work of all of those involved in Integrated Education, Carl said, “I am delighted to offer my public support for Integrated Education. It’s my intention to do whatever I can in the future to support NICIE in the vital work they do with parents, schools and young people to help bring more people together in Northern Ireland and make it a better place for all of us. Today I have had the most amazing experience visiting all of these schools and meeting so many children and young people. I have been completely overwhelmed by the welcome and wonderful reception I received in each school.”
Carl joins an impressive list of celebrity patrons of Integrated Education which includes Liam Neeson and Sir Kenneth Branagh.