Knights Without Borders

University of Central Florida students ‘touch down’ in Sean McDermott Street to take part in the Croke Park Classic Community Project

Seventeen student athletes & staff from the University of Central Florida have ‘touched down’ in Dublin this week to participate in a special community project in advance of the Croke Park Classic American Football match which takes place on Saturday, August 30th.

Their week-long mission in advance of their university’s football game against Penn State University at GAA Headquarters is volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Ireland, Croke Park staff and members of the local community to help renovate Lourdes Community Hall on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin 1.

The student volunteers are part of the university’s “Knights Without Borders”  programme which gives an opportunity for University of Central Florida student-athletes, staff and administrators to journey on international service-learning trips; which provide cross-cultural experiences and  develop a sense of world unity for all involved.

When the ‘Knights’ of University of Central Florida take on the ‘Nittany Lions’ of Penn State in Croke Park, it will be the first time that both teams have played outside the United States.  For the ‘Knights Without Borders’ however, this is their third international initative following successful volunteering trips to Panama in 2013 and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this year.

The Croke Park Classic Community Programme is the culmination of several months of planning & fundraising by the students which started in late 2013, when the University of Central Florida, Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Croke Park came together to identify a community initiative located near the stadium that they could all work together on.

Croke Park, through its annual Community Fund, has supported community groups using the Lourdes Community Hall in Sean McDermott Street since 2009 and working in partnership with these community groups, Dublin City Council, Habitat for Humanity Ireland and the Knights Without Borders, the community programme to coincide with the Croke Park Classic was developed.

For the next week, the project will involve the students working with the team from Habitat for Humanity and members of Croke Park staff to renovate and repaint the main exterior and interior of the community hall.  The final result will be a better and brighter space for the local community of Sean McDermott Street to use every day.