Stories

Sports Plus 2017 Winter Review

Date posted: 10/01/18

Sports Plus 2017

 

The warmth of the summer sun during Team Challenge might seem a distant memory and with the beanies and gloves out in full force, it is easy to forget what happened in the summer of 2017, but what a summer of Sports Plus it really was!

692 young people, 373 leaders and 82 Trainees attended Sports Plus over seven separate weeks at five venues across the UK and Jersey.

 

The Sport

With over five hours of sport each day, Sports Plus is ‘serious sports action for the serious sports player’ and the target audience is young sportspeople who play their sport regularly for a club or team. Eight main sports were coached this summer with the young people giving an average of nine out of ten for these coaching sessions. Many parents and guardians commented on the high level of coaching received and how this has helped develop the young person in their sport.

 

“It's a fabulous week of excellent coaching in their chosen sport. The meetings gave them such encouragement and challenged them about putting Christ first in their lives. The leaders were enthusiastic and a brilliant example to all the young people.”

Parent/Guardian, Belfast 2 Sports Plus 

 

We are continually looking to further improve the coaching delivered at Sports Plus. By working closely with our leaders who currently serve as coaches, and developing programmes to invest in both new and young coaches, we will ensure sustainability and quality of coaching at Sports Plus. In addition, we are privileged to have individuals who are qualified to serve as mentors – a specific role which will be embedded across each camp.

 

Sports Plus 2017

 

The Theme

Together we journeyed through the gospel of Matthew throughout the week. Young people, leaders and Trainees were challenged by our theme ‘Make Way for the King’ as we looked at who Jesus is and what it looks like to submit to His rule and love in every area of life.  It has been a great joy to hear that some young people responded in faith and repentance, others were challenged to look into Jesus further and still others who were already Christians encouraged to continue to follow and represent Jesus in their world of sport. The good news of Jesus will always be at the heart of Sports Plus as we trust it to do its transforming work in the lives of young people.

 

“Just wanted to say a very big THANK YOU to all the leaders and staff for providing our daughter with a week she will remember. She came home and went through all the notes she had made in the meetings with us - the week has had a profound effect on her with regards to her decision making and realising that God should be at the centre of it all - wonderful to hear our teenager speak in this way!”

Parent/Guardian, Brecon 1 Sports Plus

 

Sports Plus 2017 

The Team

Another key factor that makes Sports Plus such a memorable time are the many committed leaders who enable these weeks to happen. It is great to have leaders who love Jesus, love sport and are passionate to share life and Jesus with the young people in their care. We often talk about the irresistible environment created at Sports Plus and so many of the young people speak about the influence and impact that leaders at Sports Plus have on them. It was humbling to hear parents and guardians again comment on how safe, welcoming and caring Sports Plus was for their young people this summer.

 

“Getting to spend a week with like-minded leaders, all passionate about young people hearing the gospel and discipling those already on their journey. As well as receiving quality teaching and encouragement to continue in my own walk with Jesus. £185 well spent.”

Medical Team member, Brecon 1 Sports Plus

 

With 83% of leaders returning in 2017, a strong foundation of experience and unity continues to make Sports Plus what it is. Over the years, it has been a joy to witness committed leaders growing together and becoming ‘family’ alongside new and younger leaders. The training they receive not only equips them for the many different roles at Sports Plus, but also to help them live out their lives as Christians in their clubs and teams.

Hundreds of younger leaders over the past 16 years have been through the Trainee programme at Sports Plus with 82 more being equipped and trained in 2017. The programme is designed as a bridging period from young person to leader. The Trainees have a bespoke programme equipping them to serve practically, deepen their Biblical knowledge and grow in leadership opportunities.

 

Sports Plus 2017

 

The Future of Sports Plus

It was great to see that 70% of those young people who could return from Sports Plus 2016 did come back again in 2017 and now, as we enter 2018, it’s time to look forward to next summer and beyond.

 

“My daughter just thought it was the best week of her life, so it can’t get any better than that! Wee brother wanting to go next year too!”

Parent/Guardian, Perth Sports Plus 

 

Accessibility to Sports Plus is key and we are very thankful to all who contributed to the Sports Plus Bursary Fund enabling 168 to access the fund in 2017. Donations increased by just over £2,000 and we hope the Bursary Fund will continue to enable even more young people to attend Sports Plus in the coming years.

We are very aware that demand for places at Sports Plus is high; we plan to increase capacity whilst maintaining quality and a priority therefore is to increase in number the committed team of leaders we currently have. Please join us as we pray for this to happen and that God will graciously continue to use Sports Plus for His glory as we seek to develop and play our part in growing His gospel work.

 

Sports Plus 2017

 

Next Steps for 2018

The dates and venues for summer 2018 have been confirmed and you can check these out by clicking here. Here's how you can play your part as we look forward to Sports Plus 2018:

 

Book: Young people’s bookings open here at 7pm on Monday 22nd January, so if you know any young people in your church, school or sports teams that are suited to coming and would love Sports Plus why don’t you encourage them to book on? Can your young person bring a friend from their club or team this year with them?

Share: 98% of parents/guardians who completed the survey from last summer said they would recommend Sports Plus to others with sporty young people, who can you invite and recommend it to? Can you share and advertise Sports Plus anywhere in your church, local community, nearby schools and sports teams? Can you follow Christians in Sport on social media and share information on your own pages? Maybe it is simply inviting a friend’s young person or having a conversation with the youth worker?

Lead: For Sports Plus to happen and this gospel work to continue to grow there is a need for leaders to sign up and commit as early as possible to enable us together to pray, plan and prepare ahead of this summer. Applications are now open online for both leaders and Trainees.

Recruit: Do you know of others in your church who love sport, love Jesus and are passionate about sharing Him with young people? If so, could they serve at Sports Plus 2018? Can you point them in the direction of our website and encourage them to get signed-up?

 

Hopefully, the memories of Sports Plus 2017 will live long in to the future while at the same time we’re already excited for Sports Plus 2018 and hope that you’ll continue to play your part.