The Giants Community Foundation is a charitable not for profit organization with links to the Belfast Giants professional ice hockey team. “In the land of the Giants, everyone is equal” this has been the Belfast Giants motto since it’s creation in 2000. With players from across the globe and fans from all community backgrounds, the Belfast Giants recognised that to build a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland, there is a need to integrate all aspects of Northern Ireland culture in to all aspects of life and experience. As ice hockey is one of the only sports in Northern Ireland without any sectarian history, the game has an important role in bringing communities together. The Giants Community Foundation was created in 2008 and its mission statement is “Integrating – Sport, Lives and Leisure.”
The Giants Community Foundation has developed three key objectives to achieve the mission; they are:
– To improve the physical health and mental well-being of young people.
– To deliver sessions and develop resources that encourage young people from all backgrounds to remain in education and embrace a lifelong learning approach to their physical, personal and professional development
– To develop activities to bring young people together and produce resources that use ice hockey to address social exclusion and bring people together from all social, ethnic, religious, racial and community backgrounds to develop respect, understanding and positive relationships.
There are a range of activities being delivered that work towards supporting integration and cohesion within and between communities, they are:
– Health & Diversity Programme – a five-session programme delivered with young people aged 12-19 years old in both single identity and cross-community settings across N.I, exploring differences, stereotypes, life choices and their consequences. The Giants are presently working in Portadown, Newtownards and across Belfast.
– Giant H.E.R.O.S (Hockey Education Reaching Out Society) Ice Camp – a specialised cross community and cross border programme for young people, delivered in partnership with The Bridge Youth Club (East Belfast) and The Den Youth Service (North Dublin).
– Giants Companies That Care – an outreach programme in local youth clubs and community centres across Northern Ireland, sponsored by Stenaline, taking Giants into the community to meet young people, share their experiences and have some fun with floor hockey.
– Giants Helping Hand Programme – supporting organisations that are working to help and support young people and their families. The Giants have been involved in a number of activities throughout the season, such as the Christmas Teddy Bear toss and more recently the blood drive with Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service.
– Giants Ice Stada – coming soon! a portable synthetic ice stadium that primary aged children can skate on even on the hottest days of summer! The Giants will be taking this to all parts of Northern Ireland both on and off season, to enable as many young people as possible to experience ice hockey!
– Giants Reading Programme – a partnership programme with Libraries-NI and University of Ulster students, the aim is to develop a range of story books and interactive resources that encourage children and their parents to enjoy reading together.
For more information contact Louise Little Giants Community Foundation Co-ordinator at: email@example.com