Cork hosts Cork-Belfast Co-operation Ireland Youth Leadership Exchange
On Friday (22 April), the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Chris O’Leary hosted a reception for a special group of young people from Belfast and Cork, who have been participating in a Co-operation Ireland Youth Leadership Exchange Programme.
Over the weekend the two groups came together for two days of activities, which allowed them to learn and share information on their lives as young people and how sports can contribute to developing good relations and leadership skills. It was also an opportunity to get to know each other better and uncover more about their cultures and traditions.
At the reception, both groups jointly performed The Banks of my lovely Lee and I’ll Tell my Ma or colloquially known as "The Belle of Belfast City", which they hope illustrated their interest in learning more about each other.
On Saturday, they participated in a sports workshop and a conference based around sport and how it builds community relations.
A number of successful sports personalities from Belfast and Cork, including Cork sports stars Nollaig O’Neill, Juliet Murphy and Christina Desmond and Northern Ireland boxing silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games Steven Ward, spoke about their experiences of competing in top rated sports competitions.
At the reception, John Mullins, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland’s Cork Committee said,
“ I would like to congratulate all the young people involved in our youth leadership Programme which has grown in strength since it was set up three years ago. This programme not only gives young people the wonderful opportunity to work together to develop their potential as leaders but it engenders positive relationships on a cross border basis. We are delighted to welcome our partner group from Colin Glen and Monkstown in Belfast to Cork and we at Cooperation Ireland in Cork wish all the young people all the best for your activities together over the weekend”.
Peter Sheridan, CEO Co-operation Ireland said,
“The cross-border nature of this exchange ensures that these young people become more open minded and have a greater understanding of other peoples cultures and life experiences. And by coming together and sharing information on topics that bind them together, such as sport, means they are more likely to continue these relationships in the future.
“Co-operation Ireland is extremely grateful to our funders, The Rory McDonagh Trust, Gas Networks and the support of our Cork Committee, who enable us to offer these young people the opportunity to meet face to face, and hone their leadership skills”.