Pat McKeever meets Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Nichola Mallon.

Involved in the the voluntary sector for over 40 years, Pat McKeever has a wealth of experience working with all kinds of folk including young people with and without disabilities, the more mature and people from many different cultural groups.

He has used his expertise and experience to put together his new book Game 4A Game, with the hope that it will encourage individuals to develop new skills and confidence in an environment of co-operation and fun.

introducing Pat

“Hello, and thank you for visiting the Game 4A Game website. I'd like to provide some backround on myself and the reasons why I put the book together. I have worked in the voluntary sector for over 40 years in a number of roles. My experience spans from volunteering to paid employment with Northern Ireland Association of Youth Clubs (NIAYC), Phab NI and Arthritis Care NI. My present role in Arthritis Care NI is as Volunteer Development Manager with responsibility for servicing and supporting affiliated branches, designing and organising workshops in alternative therapies and encouraging exercise through games such as Boccia, New Age Kurling and Chair-based activities.

“Previously in my Youth and Community Work I was involved in a variety of projects including cross-border youth work and also with young people with and without disabilities in Poland, Germany, France and America.

A game of Boccia in progress.

A game of boccia in progress

“At home I developed a summer scheme called ‘Children Embracing Diversity’ where children from groups e.g. Indian, Chinese, Travellers and our own two cultures met together and exchanged ideas. I have also developed a game called ‘Parball’ which is a cross between five-a-side football and water polo and is played in wheelchairs by young people with and without disabilities.

“I worked along with the South Eastern Education & Library Board to do Disability Awareness Training and to look at accessibility and inclusion to bring young people with disabilities into main stream youth clubs.”

Writing The Game 4A Game Book

“I have been compiling the information for this book for a number of years and have finally collated it. Through games a young person develops in many ways. They are helped towards a better understanding of themselves and others by learning to share, co-operate and be a team player. It helps them to assess their own ability and confidence.

“Not all young people get the activity they need for all round healthy growth. Too much time can be spent ‘Social Networking’ which is also another way of communicating, but it is the sitting too long that causes the problem. It is my hope that the games and activities in the book will help people to develop new skills, team spirit, co-operation, leadership and self confidence within an environment of fun and competition.”