"We are more religious about sport than religion itself. Australians spend four times more time watching sport  at home per week than doing  religious activities."

2019 McCrindle Sporting Research

Bringing other level of investment

Within Australia’s sporting life, there’s never been a time like now when sporting communities and clubs are calling for pastoral care.
In fact, over 3,000 clubs across our nation are asking for this chaplaincy support because they recognise the personal investment it makes in the lives of their athletes and the wider sporting community, by having complete care – mind, body and soul.
And it’s for this very reason that we’re inviting you – the local church – to partner with Sports Chaplaincy Australia in placing chaplains in local sporting communities to be the gospel in action.

Together, by responding to this unprecedented request from our local sporting communities, we’re creating a connection that’s taking local missions to a whole new level

Helping athletes under pressure through complete pastoral care

Sport has many positive benefits, but it can also bring significant challenges ...
Elite athletes face high expectations from coaches, sponsors, fans and themselves. Defeat can impact their self-worth. Many clubs tear themselves apart over poor performance.
And for the many Australians involved in grassroots sports, the local sporting club is their main support network when life gets tough. It’s vital they get a chance to encounter the gospel in action.
That’s why Sports Chaplaincy Australia exists – to demonstrate  the love of Christ to sports lovers at all levels.

A nation of athletes

Every year, 14 million Australians participate in sport across the country. From children playing netball and football, to teens swimming relays, to adults representing their country on the world stage – sporting communities lie at the heart of who  we are.
It’s the Australian way of life. It can be early coffee runs with other parents before Saturday sport, sweating it out at futsal on a weeknight with some mates, or even the roar of a packed MCG crowd … sport creates community in so many different ways – from grassroots to elite level.
Experience shows that when athletes are empowered to perform at their peak and live their best life, holistically the entire sporting community thrives – including athletes, coaches, managers, families and supporters.
But strong performance – on the field and off – is about so much more than just physical fitness.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia is responding to that need by bringing another level of investment to the game … partnering with local churches and sponsors to provide complete care for athletes and sporting communities – mind, body and soul. 

It’s for that reason, that sports chaplains provide complete pastoral care at all levels. They help build healthy sporting communities. They support individuals who are struggling  with the pressures of life and sport. And they show Jesus’  love in action to people right where they are.

Responding to the Call

Your Opportunity

Australia is built on sporting communities, so it’s essential that churches invest in them and connect with them. Sporting clubs are fast becoming the place of social connection for many people. 
Sports Chaplaincy Australia estimates that each sports chaplain, on average, connects with 500 people. That’s 500 athletes, club members, officials, parents, siblings, coaches and fans – 500 opportunities for people to engage with someone who can represent the grace, love and mercy of Christ.
This is an incredibly unprecedented and exciting opportunity for the local church – your local church – through Sports Chaplaincy Australia, to connect directly with local  sporting communities!

Building connections

As a kingdom-oriented ministry, Sports Chaplaincy Australia provides a unique opportunity for your church to minister to local sporting communities. This mission results in thousands of lives impacted through literally thousands upon thousands of small interactions and life-sharing moments.
All SCA chaplains are trained and accredited to provide complete pastoral care. And today, over 3,000 clubs  nationally have requested sports chaplains because they recognise the investment chaplains can make into the lives of their communities.

So, if your church’s mission aligns with the mission of SCA, let’s partner together and show Jesus’ love to unreached people in your local community. 

You can empower a church member within your church to champion this ministry – someone who’s passionate to connect with your local community and who has a keen interest in sports. With SCA’s support, your church’s champion would raise up a team of six chaplains to invest in different sporting clubs in your church’s local area.

Open new doors to reach more people with the gospel by investing in your local community.

You can increase your church’s presence at the centre of your local community. As sports chaplains, your church will provide complete pastoral care and demonstrate the gospel in action.

A former Bendigo Bombers player is “grateful” for his chaplain, Bruce

Ash Humphrey is a former VFL player whose life, and identity, was based on his performance … 
“Growing up without a dad can leave you with a range of questions around your own identity. For me, sport was a place where I received validation for my efforts.” 
Ash says that entering the world of professional sport brought a whole set of new challenges … 
“As an 18-year-old, I signed on to play with the Bendigo Bombers, and early on in our pre-season, I got into a little bit of trouble.” 
That’s when the team’s chaplain helped Ash realise there was more to life, and more to him, than just sport. As Ash explains: 
“My perspective on life very much changed. Football went from being my life and my singular focus, to something that I could do. I knew that at that stage it wasn’t the be all and end all, and that there were more important things to life. I’m really grateful to Bruce and the role he’s played in my life.” A

A frustrated team wins the Grand Final after chaplains give them support and strategies for success

One AFL club was recently playing in a Semi-final on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula when a red card sent the team into disarray. 
Despite winning the match, the tribunal’s hearing was negative – it was a seven-week suspension for the player in question. The team, family and player were devastated. Their feelings quickly turned to frustration, and then to anger. 
Within 24 hours, trained SCA chaplains were down at the club, providing the care and support they needed. They ran a session about healthy ways to express anger, frustration and disappointment. The team spoke about what the players could and couldn’t control, about bringing their best game, and showing their opponents respect. 
Here’s what the team’s trainer said about the team’s experience after the Final: 
“Thank you! They were absolutely amazing and played well, with none of them showing aggression towards the other team. It was the little extra they needed.” 
The best news: they went on to claim victory in the Grand Final! The team pulled together and pulled out a fantastic result. And it was largely thanks to the chaplaincy team that was there for them.

Everyone needs a champion

You can become a partner church today, playing an integral role in caring for – and transforming – people in your local community.
When you partner with Sports Chaplaincy Australia, you’re raising up ‘champions’ from within your own church with a passion for the gospel, their community and sport.
With your help, more chaplains can be identified, trained, accredited and placed within local sporting communities. You can be instrumental in assisting the gifted and loving people you know to be trained, so they can offer complete pastoral care and demonstrate the gospel in action.
The door is open for your church to help reach up to 75% of people in your community who are connected to sport each week.
Each club around you is a hub of community activity and your local church can serve them.

The vision is to see a chaplain in  every Australian sports community.  So, now is the time to take the next step.

Partners in local mission

Your church and Sports Chaplaincy Australia

Your role is to identify those within your church community who would love to serve in sports communities. SCA will bring them together into a team of champions and will ensure that their ministry prospers with the support, encouragement and prayer they need. SCA also provides a dedicated representative as the coach of this new team.

These champions you identify will be:

Equipped and trained  to guide the sports chaplaincy ministry  in the areas overseen by your church.
Empowered to raise up  their own team of volunteer chaplains.
The primary communicators  with SCA to ensure that everyone  is adequately supported.

Here’s how you can be part of that exciting local mission:

Stories of Impact

Your support helps coaches and clubs thrive

Posted on 10/28/2020
Dean Vickerman coaches Melbourne United NBL team. He believes they play a key role in building...