England

The last year has seen not just the number of chaplains increase but also the variety of sports being served. At regionals we have seen chaplains involved in football, rugby union, rugby league, horse racing, cricket, athletics, ice hockey & triathlon.

From the early days of predominant involvement in football this shows how much we have developed as an organisation. It is also unusual to have a regional without female chaplains present showing the inroads being made in women’s sport.

The challenge with such diverse growth is to make our chaplains’ regionals not just a time of networking and prayer but also to provide relevant training. In recent years we have included training on handling the media and stress management and over the last 12 months we have added gambling addiction awareness and bereavement support in the case of an untimely death. We are particularly pleased to have linked with Care for the Family in the area of bereavement support and see this as another important partnership as we move forward. Striving for excellence is a key value in sports chaplaincy and we believe our regionals are important in empowering chaplains to do this.

Matt Baker
Pastoral Support Director in English Football

I think this sports chaplaincy is really important for players or coaches to have an avenue where they can go and deal with issues of life, not just rugby and sport, with someone who is impartial, totally confidential, and able to really help them in a pastoral way. I think it’s such a vital service because players and coaches alike, we suffer from a lot of things, life in general and not just sport and rugby things. There is a lot of issues that the players have to deal with. If you are a young man and you get injured it’s very serious and can affect you mentally. It is so important that players and coaches have that support and I think that a sports chaplain, along with many other things in their role, offers that.

Brian Haywood
Former Welsh international rugby union player

Chaplains can be of help to all sorts of people involved with sport, when crisis, need or difficulty comes. I commend the idea of sports chaplaincy and the work of Sports Chaplaincy UK to you.

Sir Alex Ferguson, CBE
Director & Ambassador of Manchester United
“Its not good for man to be alone” Genesis 2:18;
We are told in just the second chapter of the bible that we don’t thrive in isolation..
Sport often creates wonderful environments in which communities are built and relationships are allowed to flourish.
In my experiences as a Christian professional rugby league player, Sports Chaplaincy UK has been the archetypal nourishment that encourages those environments to thrive.
Jamie Jones Buchanan
A professional rugby league player and Sports Chplaincy UK Ambassador

I would encourage all players the importance of talking and getting off things of your chest. Chaplains need to remind the players that the support is there and they can talk to you about anything – talking is so important.

Robbie Hunter Paul
Retired Rugby League International and TV pundit

Sports Chaplaincy is a must have for 21st century athletes.

Paul Elliott, CBE, MBE
Former English professional footballer, member of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board & SCUK Ambassador

Personally, I know the importance of chaplaincy in my life and I am delighted to be a patron of Sports Chaplaincy UK recognising the vital work of Chaplains within sport.

Fabrice Muamba
English retired professional footballer

Every athlete needs some kind of support and encouragement and a chaplain can be a valuable source of this support.

Anne Wafula Strike
Former Paralympian and Gold medallist athlete, author, and advocate for Play for Change

As a former player, coach and now manager I cannot recommend highly enough the vital role played by chaplains within football clubs.

Chris Powell
Former manager of Huddersfield Town FC and Charlton Athletic

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