Talented young people scoop top awards at national justice-themed games competition

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Talented young people from Counties Dublin, Antrim and Kildare have scooped the top awards at the 2024 Trócaire Game Changers competition, with innovative entries raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and the world around us.

Over 200 talented young people and their educators from across Ireland took part in the 2024 Trócaire Game Changers finals on Tuesday, April 23 in The Helix, Dublin.

Winner of the Game Changers Post-Primary Category, 14-year-old Sophie Allely from St Dominic’s Grammar School, with her game ‘Fun Farm!’. Photo: Mark Stedman

Over 223 entries from youngsters were received with 21 schools and 4 youth groups taking part in the finals.

A total of 30 board, digital and card games – based on different themes including equality, sustainability, climate change and food security made it through to the finals, with young people playing and judging the games of fellow finalists at today’s event.

Winners of the Game Changers Youth Category, Foróige Blanchardstown, Dublin with their game ‘Transition to Green’. Photo: Mark Stedman

Trócaire Game Changers is an annual competition run by the Development Education team, who run workshops in schools and youth groups across the country teaching students and young people about global justice issues.The programme invites students to create a development education game that focuses on a global justice issue of their choice or one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Anya Doyle from St. Mary’s National School in Donnybrook, Dublin who worked on the game The Courtroom said that it was a really interesting experience participating in Game Changers. “The board game is about human rights and what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. We really enjoyed taking part and were really happy to win”. 

Winners of the Game Changers Primary Category, St. Mary’s National School, Donnybrook, Dublin with their game ‘The Courtroom’ is about human rights and getting to be in someone else’s shoes. Photo: Mark Stedman

Their teacher Ellen Carroll said “We thought it was so beneficial. It was completely child led. I very much facilitated it and I was amazed with what they came up with. They were so talented”.

Trócaire’s Mary Coogan, Development Education Programme Manager, said at the event, one of Trόcaire’s aims is to connect, engage and mobilise young people to act together for change.

Game Changers are a perfect example of this. All of the young people who have taken part in this programme not only learn about global justice issues themselves but also become peer educators. The quality of the games  in this year’s competition was outstanding.”

The full List of Winners and the games across the three categories are:

Game Changers Primary Category

1st:  St. Mary’s National School, Donnybrook, Dublin with The Courtroom

2nd: Castaheany ETNS, Dublin with Global Run

3rd: Springfield Primary School, Belfast with Schoolnopoly

Game Changers Post-Primary Category

1st: St Dominic’s Grammar School, Belfast with Fun Farm!

2nd: Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan with Grow-opoly

3rd: Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast with Climate Battle

Game Changers Youth Category

1st:  Foróige Blanchardstown, Dublin with Transition to Green

2nd: Celbridge Liffey Guides, Kildare with Consequences

3rd: Sphere 17, Darndale, Dublin with The Bee Games

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