European Cup in Shankill

Friday August 18th 2006

Connor Diocese : The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Harper, with the UEFA Cup in Paisley Park, west Belfast.One of the world’s most famous soccer cups paid a visit to the Upper Shankill area of west Belfast during the summer.

Liverpool Football Club’s Community Department made a return visit to Belfast to join a Church of Ireland youth initiative in the Upper Shankill.

Around 300 youngsters attended a three-day soccer school and life skills programme.

The highlight of the event was the appearance of the European Cup won by Liverpool last year. Children taking part in the summer programme had the opportunity to have their photographs taken with the cup in Paisley Park.

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Revd Alan Harper, said: “I salute Liverpool FC and its panel of Community Coaches for once more agreeing to give time and energy this summer for the benefit of young people in a deprived part of Belfast. The inspiration and motivation this will bring to the football loving youngsters of the Shankill will be immense.”

Bishop Harper thanked the Football Club, the Revd Bill Bygroves (Club Chaplain), and all the members of the coaching staff.

Church Army Community Evangelist, Sr Valerie Thom, who heads up the project said: “As well as the coaches passing on football skills they try to raise children’s awareness of subjects like bullying and drugs. The Community Coaching staff and the club they represent are just the kind of positive role models our young people need.”

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