Leading from the front
Leading from the front

Sports Plus is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Starting from humble beginnings in 1995, seven camps are now run each summer across six locations throughout the British Isles.

These camps are the perfect place for young people to improve in their sport whilst exploring more about the Christian faith and what it means to be a Christian sports player.

By God’s grace, Sports Plus camps have been a great encouragement to thousands of young sportspeople over the years. We are thankful for the servant-heartedness of the many Team Leaders, coaches and support staff who make these positive, gospel-centred camp experiences possible for young people.

Unsure what a Team Leader does on Sports Plus?

Leaders are either Team Leader 1s or Team Leaders 2s. Both of these roles involve having responsibility for a group of young people for the week. This includes all the daily activities of camp, from morning jog to mealtimes through to saying goodnight and turning lights off. Leaders are also the first contact for encouraging the young people as they think through what they’re hearing from the Bible over the week. Leading Bible studies in team meetings, aiding the young people in morning Bible reading times, chatting on the walks between activities about what they’ve heard, and shouting the camp memory verse at the top of their lungs - Team Leaders’ support of the young people as they explore the Christian faith is varied and committed.

Speaking to parents of those attending Sports Plus, there were many kind reflections on the value of the Team Leaders at the camps this year. One Repton parent said, “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the team and especially the Team Leaders and coaches. We are so enormously grateful to God and all of the people involved for giving the boys such an incredible week. We are so thankful for the young people having such a wholesome, healthy, God-centred week and for the wonderful role modelling and example set by all of the leaders, living for the Lord and also making it enormous fun for the young people.”

Another from Perth noted that “the young people had a wonderful time and we are just so grateful to all the Team Leaders who gave up their time to be a part of so many journeys which happened that week. Thanks to you all!” Praise God for His provision of so many servant-hearted Team Leaders who encourage the young people to pursue their sport and grow in their understanding of the Christian faith.

From the perspective of the Team Leaders themselves, Sports Plus is a formative experience in their personal faith and in going on to live out that faith in their sporting context for the rest of the year. Speaking to leaders from Monkton, one Team Leader 1 noted how Sports Plus had impacted her as a young person and then allowed her to develop skills in Bible handling through the two year Trainee scheme. She reflected, “the teaching that you get as a Trainee is just class. Having that much time to look into God’s Word is such a privilege and it equips you so well for your role as a leader.” These skills, as well as the serving attitude developed through more coal-face, practical Trainee responsibilities, have been instrumental in training this Team Leader 1 to serve the young people now in her care.

Sports Plus is also a great springboard for Team Leaders as they enter a new season in their own sports back home. For another Team Leader 1 at Repton, Sports Plus helped him see the bigger picture of what it looks like to live for Jesus in the world of sport; “it’s hugely encouraging for us [Team Leaders] to see that there are other Christians up and down the country trying to reach their teammates in their clubs too”. Time to share stories of how things have gone this year, planning for events in the coming year, and discussing the challenges and joys of sharing your faith are all great encouragements to Team Leaders who are looking to make Christ known in their respective worlds of sport.

There is always a need for more servant-hearted, sports-mad, Jesus-loving Team Leaders on Sports Plus. With the increase in recent years in the number of camps and of young people attending, there is more need than ever for adults to fill this Team Leader role as well as coaching and support staff positions. Could you perhaps consider giving your time in the summer to serve? Financial support, child care provision, and support for coaching badge qualifications are all available to help if these are barriers. Opportunities to be trained as part of the aforementioned Trainee scheme are also available for those aged 18 + who are transitioning from being a young person to a future leader.

If you’re interested in these roles or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the Sports Plus team at sportsplus​@christiansinsport.org.uk or sportsplus​@christiansinsport.ie or get your application in here.

We praise God for His generous provision of leaders who are keen to serve the young people on Sports Plus each summer, and look forward to many more years of encouragement, training, and service together with leaders old and new.

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