Chaplains to Women’s Sports
Earlier in the year a Women’s Footy Chaplain received a distressing phone call from one of her club’s young players. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Chappy’ works retail in the city during the day and travels home of an evening. As she has done most weeks for the past 2 years, Chappy left her family after dinner, drove 35km to the northern suburbs, to meet with her player.
The young girl, a key member of her side, was deeply distressed and troubled about personal relationship issues. Not knowing who to turn to, and experiencing unresolved bitterness and anger she called her club chaplain to help ease her ongoing anxiety and depression.
Chappy spent 3 hours with her that night – followed by regular catch-ups, phone calls, chats after training and referral for professional help. The chaplain’s care was instinctive, authentic and sustaining.
A parent of another player approached Chappy on game day distraught and fearful. She was desperate to talk to someone who would listen and offer support. Her child was displaying suicidal tendencies.
Sadly, and understandably, these people never disclosed their pain to anyone in the club. Chappy just ‘being there’, on their turf, the footy club, made a life difference to the growing few silent sufferers. As one player said, “We’re so glad she’s here.”