University to be twinned with Flanders Peace Field and help launch 2019 PEACE RIDE

University staff will help mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War by playing a football match and twinning a sports pitch with the Flanders Peace Field in Messines, Belgium.

The match on 30 November will be followed by a lecture from a leading sport historian Dr Iain Adams, who will discuss the significance of football during the conflict and address some of the myths that have grown up around it.

University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Karen Cox will join Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield to unveil the Peace Field plaque at the Canterbury campus.

The event is being hosted by Kent-based Gateways to the First World War public engagement project, the National Children’s Football Alliance (NCFA) and Kent Sport. The twinning of the football pitch is part of the NCFA’s international Peace Field project.

NCFA will also announce details of the sponsored PEACE RIDE from the University to Ypres/Ieper, Belgium, on Saturday 23 March, 2019, which will raise money to enable Slum Soccer, India to send a team of children to the 2019 Global Peace Games.

Dr Emma Hanna, of the Gateways project, said: ‘As we mark the centenary of the end of the fighting during the Great War we can now move on to examine the processes of peace-making in the post-war period. Those who fought in 1914-18 never wanted subsequent generations to go to war again. Today the use of sport in promoting peace, equality and opportunity among children of all nationalities at the Peace Village in Messines, on the former Western Front battlefields, is a fitting memorial to all the men and women who fought for peace during the Great War.’

The Football and the First World War event is free and open to all but registration is required.