2019 Northern Ireland F4P project

Connor Cook is a second year Physical Education BA(Hons) student and a Football 4 Peace (F4P) trained coach – he has recently returned from a study tour in Northern Ireland where he was involved in coaching using the F4P methodology at Easter football camps.

The camps were run by the Irish Football Association (IFA) as part of their ‘Let Them Play’ Youth Strategy. The IFA run 100 values-based camps a year for Catholic and Protestant children and they include the F4P values-based methodology within all their community and school prgrammes.

Connor’s reports on his experiences during the trip:

A group of five students from the University of Brighton and a senior leader that works alongside F4P were involved in a project to implement our training of Values-based teaching to areas where there is, or was, tension or a divide within communities. The beginning of the trip filled us with concern and anxiety due to hearing of an attack in the location where we were planning to stay.

My parents were reluctant on me completing this project due to them concluding I may be putting myself at risk. I spoke with my parents and after discussing for hours on end that I will still be involved in the project, I made a promise to keep them updated at all times.

So, the day came and we made our travels to Northern Ireland. The group knew very little about each other, so talk was limited to begin with, but this could have been due to fatigue and an early pick up time of 5:30am. However, by the end of the trip we would all consider each other as a good group of friends with incredible memories to carry throughout their lives and careers.

When we arrived in Belfast this was for many of us, our first experience in visiting the area and after having a wash and freshening up we began to explore our local surroundings. We visited Ulster Museum in the afternoon which was an eye opener and we experienced surreal feelings of emotions after seeing the ‘The Troubles’ Exhibition. And in the evening, we completed a tour of historical bars and buildings in the Cathedral Quarter.

On the Monday many us were still feeling fatigued due to the early wake up the previous day so we decided to rest and regenerate our energy levels. At 1:00pm we had the privilege to go on a Black Taxi tour of Belfast Falls where we visited the locations of murals and the peace wall which still divides two local communities (the gates are however open, but only until 7:00pm) and we gained insight knowledge of the politics and ‘The Troubles’.

On Tuesday we set out on our travels to Derry (Londonderry) via the coastal route and admired the astounding views. We then went to Giants Causeway and visited the formations of cooled lava from an eruption that had occurred, and we came to the understanding of why this was a popular destination for tourists. Later that evening we met with Kevin and Joe to plan where we were coaching, and we could begin to share our ideas of what we had planned for our sessions.

On 24th April, we all began our coaching projects in areas such as Strabane and Ballycastle. Coaching was successful, and we could see the participants were engaged and seemed to enjoy the activities they were involved from the laughter and levels of enthusiasm they were showing. Later that day we completed the Bogside Tour and the City Walls Tour which gave many of us a mixture of emotions and feelings.

The 25th and 26th April were our final days of the coaching project which we all completed successfully. We were treated by Kevin and his welcoming family with dinner and a trip around his local area which is placed within the Republic of Ireland and we could not be more thankful to them for giving us this experience.

Overall, it is a project that I will always remember and treasure. I will have stories that will stay with me throughout my career and that I can implement into my future teachings. Importantly the group would say we have made a strong friendship that will remain for many years to come.

Israel adopts Brighton’s Football for Peace

the Brighton team in Israel

Left to right – Simon Green, Warren Smart, Gazi Nujeidat, Israel ministry for Culture and Sport, Dr Gary Stidder and Eli Fratoknic, Senior sports leader Israel Sports Authority.

Israel has adopted the University of Brighton programme which uses football to bring together communities in conflict.

Football for Peace (F4P), which has operated in Israel, Palestine, Northern and Republic of Ireland, The Gambia, South Korea and South Africa since 2001, uses value-based coaching to break down barriers.

The announcement by the Israeli Sport Authority followed participation by PE lecturers from the University’s School of Sport and Service Management in a five-day ‘Sport for Life’ training event which involved 50 Arab and Jewish Israeli sports leaders. Continue reading

F4P commended in national campaign

Football 4 Peace International features in the ‘UK’s Best Breakthroughs’ list, part of the new ‘MadeAtUni’ campaign that celebrates the impact universities have on the wider community.

The list of 100 highlights ground-breaking projects and research which have transformed lives. Universities UK is the representative organisation for all UK universities.

Gary Stidder, co-founder of the initiative with Professor John Sugden, said: “I have been really proud to have been associated with Football 4 Peace International for nearly 20 years. As an educationalist I believe that the multi-dimensional research, education and social engagement platform that utilises physical education and sport has had a major impact in areas suffering from high levels of cross-community conflict and various forms of political disorder and social disintegration. Continue reading

Scoring for peace

More than 200 children from secondary schools around Sussex will be taking part in a football festival next week.

The University of Brighton’s Football 4 Peace (F4P) programme, which has operated in Israel, Palestine, Northern and Republic of Ireland, The Gambia, South Korea and South Africa since 2001, uses football to help resolve conflict between communities.

Last year children from around East and West Sussex and delegates from Ghana, South Africa, South Korea, Democratic Republic of Conga, Iran, Sudan, Czech Republic and Northern Ireland, took part in the F4P International Festival which is held at the University’s Falmer campus. Continue reading

University of Brighton academic honoured

A University of Brighton lecturer has been recognised for “making a difference to the teaching of physical education at national and international level”.

The Association for Physical Education’s (AfPE) highest honour, the Honoured Members Award 2018, has been awarded to Dr Gary Stidder, Principal Lecturer in PE in the University’s School of Sport and Service Management.

Dr Stidder, who coordinates the initial teacher training for Physical Education and is the subject’s route leader for PGCE and Schools Direct student trainees, received his award for services to physical education and for instilling values based education within the PE curriculum through his work with Football 4 Peace (@F4Pvalues). Continue reading

Football for Peace professor to join UN

One of the University of Brighton professors who co-founded Football for Peace has been invited to advise the United Nations.

photo of Professor John Sugden

Professor John Sugden

John Sugden, the University of Brighton’s Emeritus Professor of the Sociology of Sport, will be part of an expert group supporting the Division for Social Policy and Development of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

He will fly to the UN’s New York headquarters in June for a meeting ‘Strengthening the Global Framework for Leveraging Sport for Development and Peace’ in preparation  for a report to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Professor Sugden said: “This is an honour for all those at the University who have helped build and promote Football for Peace International. It is also evidence of how the programme is contributing to global policy in and through sport. Continue reading

Primary School Sports Festival

Photo of the children playing with hula hoops350 Eastbourne primary school pupils came to The School of Sport and Service Management to participate in a sports festival organised by Football 4 Peace International.

The focus of the day’s activities was to develop an awareness of team work and personal responsibility. The children took part in a in a series of related activities including problem solving, physical challenges, team building, invasion games, survival, exercise and trust games. Continue reading

Academics share the Football 4 Peace Philosophy

photo of the group of coaches and teachersPhysical Education lecturers Dr Gary Stidder, Warren Smart and Simon Green ran a three-day values-based teaching workshop for over 40 Arab and Jewish Israeli sports coaches and teachers.

The event took place at the German Sports University in Cologne, Germany and it shared the Football 4 Peace curriculum and methodology in both a practical and theoretical context. Continue reading