A sports chaplain provides pastoral care for the sports person and the broader sports community including the coaches, administrators and their families.
Chaplains to sports communities have existed since the middle of the 20th century and have significantly grown in the past 20 years. The United States, United Kingdom and Australia have well established Christian sports chaplaincy ministries.
In 1982 a congress held in Hong Kong on sports mission saw sports chaplains and those interested in Mission to people engaged in sports come together from around the world including recognised representatives from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the sub-continent and Australasia. It was this congress that created the inspiration to further develop or initiate national sports missions and sports chaplains.
Sports chaplains consist of people from many different walks of life. Most commonly, the chaplains are ministers or full-time Christian workers but always, chaplaincy work is done without charge or any financial remuneration. Often, sports chaplains to a particular sport are former participants of that sport. This helps the chaplain to not only provide spiritual support and guidance to a player, but gives them the ability to empathize and relate to some of the challenges facing the participant with whom they are ministering.
There were 193 multi-faith sports chaplains at the London 2012 Olympics.
Famous quotes containing the words chaplain and/or sports:
“A chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving the host of the God of WarMars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why, then, is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“It was so hard to pry this door open, and if I mess up I know the people behind me are going to have it that much harder. Because then theres living proof. They can sit around and say, See? It doesnt work. I dont want to be their living proof.”
—Gayle Gardner, U.S. sports reporter. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 87 (June 17, 1991)