Meet Brandon Chaplin: SCA Long Game Series

14 September 2023

At Sports Chaplaincy Australia, we believe in the power of playing the ‘long game’. To inspire you, we want to share with you some stories of how far we’ve already come. 

Meet Brandon Chaplin

  • Name: Brandon Chaplin
  • What sport do you serve in? Chaplain for Port Adelaide Football Club in AFL,  and President for Ironbank Bridgewater Cherry Gardens Football Club
  • How long have you been a chaplain: 27 years
  • What level of training do you have? BA Biblical Studies, Dip Ministry
  • How many hours a week are you a chaplain? My time is limited to around 4 hours every week, but it is consistent. I keep presenting myself as a warm and welcoming face around everyone – players, coaches, support staff and administrative staff. 
  • What do you do when not a chaplain? Ride, swim, run, pastor, and support a club as president. I also enjoy hanging out with my wife, grandkids and making youtube videos.
  • How many people/teams are you in contact with? 2 Clubs – 150 people

Why did you decide to train to become a chaplain? 

I love Jesus and I love footy. Sports chaplaincy just seemed like the perfect combination. 

I make myself known to people and as much as possible try to take an interest in people’s lives, off the field or away from their job. I want to take an interest in them as a whole person – being interested in their life away from their athletic endeavours.

What seasons have you been present for in your community? Is there a story of particular significance?

I’ve been present for 27 seasons! As a sports chaplain you are often on the fringe and can feel under-utilised or irrelevant. That is, until everything goes wrong, or tragedy strikes. This becomes your moment – the time when your presence is valued and appreciated. But it only becomes ‘your moment’, because you have spent months, years or even decades being present – getting in the way without getting in the way. For me, the deaths of John McCarthy and Phil Walsh were significant. These tragedies had been real and deep and heartbreaking. The moment no one wants, becomes your moment, because that is what we are called to. I consider it a privilege.

Finish this sentence: “To me, playing the long game means…turning up each week regardless..”

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