Over the 18 years I developed Australia's sports ministry from 1982-2000 – known then as the Sports and Leisure Ministry and since 2005 as Sports Chaplaincy Australia, in parallel with the chaplaincy to top sport, so too I encouraged Christian athletes.
To this end we held a number of Christian athlete conferences, perhaps the most poignant was in Melbourne in 1992 when Ron Ross former WIN4 Sports Editor and then YWAM Melbourne Director addressed these elite athletes who came from across Australia.
We regularly held State athlete conferences modelled on West Australia's Olympic Water polo vice-captain Richard Pengelley. He developed the 10 questions for Christian sportsmen and women which has been republished in this column and in my book 'No Orchestra, No Trumpet' the story of Australia's sports ministry.
Not only did we host such state conferences around the nation, we also initiated in that period sport associated fellowships, one was in soccer, another in golf and motor racing, tennis and Rugby League to name a few. These were engendered to encourage and support, much like the recent Bible Society's 'Eternity' video on Gary Ablett Jr and his fellow Christian AFL players.
We also encouraged athletes and coaches to do Country Town Tours and perhaps one of the best known was when footballer Ian Barkley and jockey Darren Beadman went to Goondiwindi – years later I met the chairman of Goondiwindi's Racing Club on a flight and he told me the impact they had on the town which has remained.
The late Tony Dunkerley the one time Victorian Under Ages State Teams soccer coach and assistant Joey's coach, later the Commissioner for Soccer and President of Victorian Football came on many Country Town Tours in regional Victoria and Queensland. His impact is still registering. Our young sports writers award is named in honour of Tony Dunkerley.
Other athlete ministries such as Campus Crusade's “Athletes in Action” we worked with by providing names of Christian athletes so as to see the extension of the Kingdom.
We also celebrated with Rev Dr David Smethurst and his remarkable ministries at international level including the Olympics – David speaks 6 languages and volunteers as a driver or other such duties as well as being one of the chaplains. His Kingdom stories are astonishing.
USA's COIN and Uttermost Sports
This column regularly presents Nelson Cook's articles to his Los Angeles Christian Coaches – COIN – 'Coaches of Influence'. It is has been my privilege to speak to numerous of his coach groups and church breakfasts and dinners over all these years.
Now, COIN 'Coaches of Influence' is excited to announce a partnership with “Uttermost Sports”.
Coaches of Influence is partnering with Uttermost Sports to provide coaches opportunities to use their gifts and talents to bring the gospel to places where traditional missionaries are not always welcomed.
Uttermost Sports is a sports missions organisation that mobilises followers of Jesus to go to restricted-access locations in the 10/40 Window. Through a variety of short-term and long-term opportunities, coaches, athletes, and sports professionals can reach the unreached by using sports to build relationships with those who have not yet heard the good news of Jesus.
Most short-term trips last 1-3 weeks and are centred around coaching clinics, youth sports camps, or similar sports activities. For more information, visit uttermostsports.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coaches of Influence recommends that if you are interested you go to uttermostsports.org and create a “Profile” with them. This will help them to match you and the sport(s) you coach with opportunities overseas.
Some current opportunities available now! Uttermost has opportunities for Crossfit Trainers, Football Coaches, Gymnastics coaches and is seeking an International Women’s Director.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children