Stories

My Sporting Life: Sarah Prior

Date posted: 23/01/17

Sarah Prior

 

It’s always great to hear stories of how people are representing Jesus in their world of sport. Whether you are a player, coach or official – or involved in sport in a different way, ‘My Sporting Life’ is designed to encourage you in your faith as you read of others looking to share the gospel where God has placed them.

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Name: Sarah Prior

Age: 20

Where from: My family are in London, I am currently studying at University in Plymouth

Church: St Andrews, Plymouth

Sporting involvement: University of St Mark and St John women’s football goalkeeper; Plymouth Argyle Ladies goalkeeper

Sporting highlightLast year, playing our BUCS cup final in Cardiff on the Wednesday, winning in extra time…then taking to the field 24 hours later to play in our big Varsity game and winning that as well. Everyone was too tired to celebrate but it’s a week I’ll never forget!

Sarah PriorMost embarrassing sporting moment: I'm sure there have been many, but one of the most recent moments was in a home BUCS game. These games are well attended and being part of a small university everyone either knows you or knows of you. We were doing well in the game, and in an attempt to clear their back lines our opponents decided to hoof the ball towards my goal. I charged off my line and went to kick it away. Something I've done hundreds of times. This time didn't go to plan, I swung my leg and missed the ball, and in throwing my body round in an attempt to stop it, my heart sunk as it saw the ball roll towards the goal. Fortunately for me my centre back is fast and cleared the ball away a metre before the line. We did go on to win the game comfortably, but my mishap became the talking point for the next two weeks. People were copying my moves, showing me snapchats and I was very keen to hide away forever!

What encouragements have you seen as a Christian in your sport? One thing I was massively scared about in going to uni was how I could be a great witness to my teammates. Last year was tough, but this year has been incredible and a real encouragement to me! The freshers have been very open in asking me questions about the decisions I make and about my faith. I’ve been so encouraged to see them take a real interest in my relationship with God. A few of them have taken the Uncover John books, and were so keen when I gave it to them. So I am very encouraged in my team this year, and praying for more opportunities to share our great God with them! 

What do you find tough about living as a Christian in your sport?
University sporting culture is hard for Christians; the competitiveness of match days is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes you have the drinking culture, the socials and the initiations, to name a few. It was tough in my first year dealing with all these new environments, It’s very easy to make mistakes, but thankfully I have some great people around me who help me make as few of these mistakes as I can.

How do you look to share the gospel in your sports team?
I look to be a great witness to the girls. In the last few months the thing I’ve found most effective is just being openly Christian around them. So openly living out my life in a way that points to God. Naturally they are curious and as they ask more questions, the doors open and I’ve had some amazing conversations with the girls since September.

What one piece of advice would you give to Christian sportspeople to help them share their faith?
Don’t be anyone but yourself. As a Christian the things you do, the decisions you make should all point back to God. If they do, people will be curious, so be ready to answer the questions they ask truthfully and faithfully. 

Sarah Prior