My Sporting Life: Tom Stileman

Date posted: 30/12/16

My Sporting Life


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, this new ‘My Sporting Life’ feature is designed to encourage you in your faith as you read of others looking to share the gospel where God has placed them.


Name: Tom Stileman

Age: 20

Where from: Maidenhead originally, studying at Oxford.

Church: St Ebbe’s, Oxford.

Sporting involvement: Playing on the wing for Oxford University Rugby Football Club.

Sporting highlight: Winning the Varsity Match in 2015 and getting the opportunity to play with Wasps A/Sevens.

Most embarrassing moment in sport: Probably an athletics meet against our school rivals Epsom. I ran 100m and 200m, but we didn’t have a hurdler for this particular meet so I was put in for 110m hurdles. In front of quite a big crowd from both schools, I proceeded to hit every single one of the 11 hurdles, knocking over nine, falling twice and managing to snap two of the hurdles. I had nowhere to hide!

My Sporting Life


What encouragements have you seen as a Christian in your sport? It has been great to see guys from the team taking an interest in Christ, coming along to church and asking questions.

What do you find tough about living as a Christian in your sport? The balance between getting involved with your team, buying in and building friendships whilst not compromising on God’s pattern for life – wanting a shared experience and trying to honour God.

How do you look to share the gospel in your team? I ask teammates what they think about Jesus – if they have any background of faith. I then ask if they’re interested in finding out more or have any questions and would be up for coming to church or reading the Bible with me.

What one piece of advice would you give to Christian sportspeople to help them share their faith? Most people are very happy to talk about their personal faith or an absence of one, and I’ve found that’s the easiest way to then be able to share your own.