In 2008, HEROS began sharing its passion for hockey beyond the Canadian border. We partnered with social workers in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to bring local marginalized youth together in promotion of mutual understanding and co-operation.
This cross-border initiative has since grown from a one-week residential hockey camp to a 6-month youth development program. Participants are selected every January and begin work in their home communities; taking part in activities focused on communication, leadership and understanding.
Hockey serves as a neutral means of bringing youth together from various backgrounds, as it has no ties to local culture or community.
In 13 seasons, HEROS Belfast developed into one of the largest sport-based cross-cultural initiatives for young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. In recognition of HEROS work in the local community, the Army Welfare services of the British army honoured our founder, Norm Flynn, with the Brigadier Generals Excellence Medallion in 2019.
The HEROS message – Bigger Than Hockey – is one that resonates around the world.