Pupils from Druamhoe, Lisnagelvin, Sacred Heart, Good Shepherd and Chapel Road Primary Schools got to try their hand at cricket, hurling and tennis under the expert guidance of City of Derry Tennis Club, Northwest Cricket Union and Na Magha Hurling Club.
The ‘Small Ball Game of Three Halves’ event was just one of a series of events held to mark the first anniversary of the opening of the state of the art new community facility, which has become a hub of activity in the area since it opened its doors in 2022.
The £8m project was funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), the Department for Communities, and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The programme at the centre is led by the Irish Street Youth & Community Association and Hillcrest Community Trust, bringing communities together and building trust and reconciliation in the new shared space.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Patricia Logue, said it was fantastic to see so many children enjoying the facility. “It’s hard to believe that a few years ago this derelict site was going to ruin,” she said. “Today it’s become a vibrant, busy space, where people can come together to enjoy activities and events such as the Small Ball event, and make new friends through sport.
“This is what community is all about, and I am delighted to see this area being fully utilised to the benefit of so many local people. Thank you to all the schools and clubs who took part.”
Director of Health and Community with Council, Karen McFarland said: “One year on, the Waterside Shared Village is just buzzing with activity, and has become a vital space for schools and clubs right across the Waterside area.
“The Small Ball event provided an opportunity for young people to pick up some new skills which will hopefully inspire them to consider trying a new sport, or joining a new club in the future.
“The Waterside Shared Village has a packed sporting programme which is improving health and wellbeing for people of all ages, and I want to encourage schools and clubs to check out the programme to see what they can get involved in at the facility.”