WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING?
2017 – A year to praise God!
After the progress made last year, we are grateful to God for another year of impact and growth. 2017 was a year of investment in developing and testing new services.
Our local work is delivered by the Bath Community Sports Team (CST).
A team of up to 7 coaches impacted children in 12 different schools through themed assemblies, PE teaching and lunch/after school sports specific clubs. As well as this, we took teams into schools for entire days called ‘The Games’ (like a mini-Olympics), ‘GET FIT’ (educating children on Fitness, Identity and Talent) and ‘Well Being’ (partnering with others to look at physical and mental heath in young people). Over 2,500 children were reached last year through these school initiatives.
The CST delivered five ‘GET Sported’ multi-skill camps during school holidays reaching over 250 children. Additionally, there were six football and cricket specific camps involving 90 children.
The local CST enhanced its Youth Sport Leadership Development programme with up to 50 teenagers attending monthly gatherings for experiential leadership and spiritual development as well as opportunities to create and deliver youth-led community service projects. Many of the youth have since put their enhanced leadership skills to the test by serving on our other projects such as schools coaching.
Teen Kick-Off is a monthly youth football tournament enabling young people to play in a competitive yet ‘safe’ environment
with some churches bringing teams and leveraging the event so that young people can invite friends from outside the church. Great football is blended with a powerful testimony from an adult who has had their life changed by Jesus.
‘MenUnited’ is a quarterly men’s breakfast staged in a restaurant in central Bath encouraging Christian men to bring friends to hear the gospel and life lessons through a variety of speakers.
A monthly adult football tournament called ‘Kick-Off’ saw players invite friends to play and hear an encouraging testimony from a committed Christian.
A new initiative in partnership with Julian House (a charity that helps homeless people and those overcoming addiction) saw us deliver weekly fitness and sports sessions to engage with people that they work with. This has led to one man later serving on our children’s sports camps and eventually attending an outdoor pursuits instructor course as he now has this as a vision for future work.
Women’s Pilates classes have continued each week in local communities to engage with ladies and some men.
The CST was able to add value to a number of church projects this year; one notable example of this was by providing a team to plan and run the sports zone in Weston that helped engage with over 1,000 local people.
Additional CST’s in different parts of the country are now in the pipeline which is exciting, however, last year saw steady progress made in some of the national work.
The Bristol CST continued to reach out into the city and serve faithfully with its team of people from different churches. Its main areas of impact were:
Schools Coaching: Reaching into 12 schools, teaching and coaching over 600 primary school children per week as well as staging multiple assemblies with inspirational messages.
Sports Camps: Seven GET Sported holiday camps, including a plant in a brand new location reached over 180 different children.
Sports Nights: Partnering with churches to stage regular engagement evenings with sports activities and a gospel message.
The Poole CST engaged with more local churches to help grow foundations for an explosion of future sports ministry strategies as well as seeing steady growth in its weekly youth football session where believers reach out to local teenagers through ‘football and food.’
Other ministry occurred through teams in Swindon, Chippenham and Plymouth as well as through an exciting new partnership with Scripture Union. (SU) We have served SU by training leaders to plan and deliver GET Sported day camps for children in five different parts of the country; to date, new camps have started in London and Cheltenham with others set to follow in the year ahead – this should lead to hundreds of children and youth being impacted.
The year before saw the training and launch of new teams in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In the past 12 months, most of these leaders have matured their local models of ministry to impact people for Jesus in and through sports as well as train many more leaders and multiply other teams in different parts of the country.
Our existing work in Pakistan also strengthened through cricket tournaments and Kids Games projects. The work is scaling quickly overseas and we estimate that currently there are 54 CST’s that have impacted over 13,000 people.
We also serve the sports ministry movement by delivering training in America, Serbia, Romania, Italy and Austria. Leaders from some of these nations we continue to mentor as they seek to grow their reach throughout their nation.
Looking Ahead into 2018
While 2017 was a year of investment, 2018 brings opportunities for focused growth. Locally we desire to grow each of the ministry concepts and initiate 4 new ones including engagement with foreign nationals, those with disabilities and those financially deprived. We plan to engage deeper with local churches to strengthen disciple-making models. Nationally, by partnering with others we hope to see sports camps and CST’s grow to different parts. Internationally, we are enhancing our mentoring and training to support existing teams and leaders as well as helping start new works for the Lord in newly identified countries needing help. Such opportunities create big challenges and so we have to strengthen our infrastructure and funding to serve effectively and without restriction.
For more information of our local, national and international work or to become involved yourself, please contact us here.