Stories

"I can't get enough of training"

Date posted: 18/12/17

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Welcome to part three of the Internship blog as Phil Small, our man in Northern Ireland, takes up the running. Phil coaches rugby at Cambridge House Grammar School and is a member of City of Belfast Boxing Academy.

A big part of my Internship so far has been training. As individuals involved in sport, when we hear the word “training”, the physical training associated with our sport instantly comes to mind. We think of those times when we are on the pitch or in the gym, putting in the hard yards, so that we are well prepared when it’s game time. Although this physical training is important to equip me for the literal boxing ring, the Internship is also providing training for the metaphorical boxing ring of ministry.

One of my chief sources of equipping is a ministry training course that I attend in Belfast for two days a week. The course primarily focuses on how to teach the Bible faithfully, first and foremost to ourselves and then to others. As a result, I have begun exploring the Bible in ways that I have never done before, learning how to handle it well and to read it in a way that grips my heart. This has helped me both in my personal walk with Jesus and also in my role with Christians in Sport.

internship blogWhile we all have our own local training where we are based, we also come together as a team on a Friday morning, via video conferencing, for input from Christians in Sport staff. Whilst this is quite a different learning experience to the course in Belfast, I have found it similarly beneficial and challenging. The morning is divided into three slots. These are reading through God’s Big Picture’ by Vaughan Roberts, which provides an overview of the Bible, looking at what the Bible says about sport and faith, and practical training for day-to-day working life.

Reading through God’s Big Picture, along with my course in Belfast, has deepened my understanding of how the Bible fits together and how its overarching narrative is God’s salvation plan for humanity. This has been a massive encouragement.

It has also been great to unpack the biblical convictions behind playing sport in a way that glorifies God, as well as why we seek to share the gospel in our sport. This time spent in God’s word with other Christians in Sport Interns and staff is always encouraging. Through the amazing truth of the gospel itself, praying, and hearing the stories and struggles of others as they seek to make Jesus known in their own sports, I have been increasingly motivated to do the same in my boxing club and rugby team.

Aside from the Bible-based training, the practical sessions have included how to manage our time and how to process emails so that we are working efficiently and effectively. I am not the most organised by nature and so I have particularly valued this aspect of training. As well as this, we have looked at our behavioural tendencies and how we can best interact with others who maybe work and communicate in a different way to us. Through all this practical training, I can say with confidence, I have learned skills and principles that I will use for the rest of my life.

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Despite these many different aspects of training that I have received on the Internship, I am nowhere near the finished article! However, both my Belfast course and the Friday training are providing me with the foundational skills and principles I need to serve as an Intern this year, as well as equipping me for whatever lies ahead.

Just as we understand our sport in more depth through training, I have come to know more about what it looks like to be a Christian in the world of sport through my training this year. Crucial to any training is the coach you have. I can say that the training I have received this year has been conducted by the ultimate coach, God – and what a coach He is!                        

I don’t think I have said this many times in my life, but bring on the rest of the season’s training! I can’t wait…

 

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Applications are now open for the 2018-19 Internship. Click here for more information.