Sports Congress Keynote recordings - watch online
Hosted at Ridley in August 2022, the Third Global Congress on Sport and Christianity drew delegates from across the UK, USA and beyond.
If you were unable to attend in person, we are now delighted to offer you, through our partnership with CEDE Sports, the chance to listen to the challenging and inspiring keynote speakers, Michael Volland (Ridley Hall Principal), Steven N. Waller (University of Tennessee), Elizabeth Bounds (Baylor University), Ashley Null (Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge) and Andrew Parker (Ridley's Associate Tutor in Sports Ministry).
All the keynote talks can be accessed for free by registering with the CEDE Sports Chaplains Community app, a community for Sports Chaplains with a desire to connect with other chaplains around the world.
Keynote lectures available to watch:
Ultramarathon Running and the Truth About Ourselves: Wisdom for Servant Leaders
Michael Volland, Ridley Hall, Cambridge
Jesus said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). As a regular competitor in UK ultramarathons, I can bear witness to the fact that long-distance running brings participants into an encounter with the truth about their spiritual, mental and physical condition, the limits of their capabilities, the nature of their character, and the deep reality of their attitudes toward others. Openness to encountering such truths about ourselves is the first step on the road to Christian maturity that leads towards a lifestyle characterised by servant leadership. The encounter and engagement in a subsequent process of discipleship require growth in humility which is itself a gift of God. The presentation will offer insights and wisdom about Christian discipleship, character and servant leadership drawn from ultramarathon running, applicable in a variety of contexts.
The death of George Floyd and compassionate sports chaplaincy: Navigating culturally-responsive care for diverse people in sport
Steven N. Waller, University of Tennessee
On the evening of May 25, 2020, White Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for almost 10 minutes. His death touched off one of the most significant protest movements in the U.S. and other nations worldwide. Moreover, it forced a global conversation about race, social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in society. Floyd’s tragic death also created a “call to action” for chaplains across vocational strands, including sports chaplains, to immerse themselves in painful and often awkward conversations surrounding race, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Two years after the demise of Floyd, the task that lies ahead is to continue the work of recognizing harm, moving toward reconciliation, and compassionately engaging in the collective work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Furthermore, advancing conversations about creating culturally responsive caregiving strategies must be given precedence.
Keynote: Virtue Development in Sports
Elizabeth Bounds, Baylor University
Religion and spirituality are the primary context for virtue development because both imbue actions and decisions with transcendent meaning and purpose. For example, Christianity offers a meta-narrative and meta-identity that promote virtuous behaviour as a by-product of the superordinate goal of communion with Christ. Psychological scientific study of virtues provides empirical evidence for faith contexts and communities as key sites for character development. Athletic contexts can either inhibit or promote virtuous behaviour and development, depending on a variety of factors, such as leadership. Leadership functions as the crux for enabling athletic contexts to promote virtue development. Coaches, parents, and sports ministers can promote virtues in sports by providing modelling, instruction, opportunities for enactment and reflection. Examples of excellent strengths of character in sports include courage, patience, humility, and gratitude.
Keynote: Towards a Fresh Approach to Sport Competition and Christian Faith
Ashley Null, Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge
In recent years, much has been written about the autotelic nature of sport and how competition, on the one hand, especially at the professional level, and evangelism on the other, fundamentally distort, and for some writers, destroy the spiritual benefits found in play. This address challenges these conclusions by rethinking how sport and Christian faith should go together, from the bottom up. For a fresh approach, we need to make two sets of distinctions. We need to distinguish between play as seen from a human perspective, e.g., Huizinga’s famous dictum that true play is always an end in itself, and play as seen from God’s perspective, an approach pioneered by Hugo Rahner. Secondly, we need to distinguish comparison as a means of seeking self-understanding versus as a means of establishing self-worth. With these distinctions in mind, we can look to Scripture for understanding God’s purpose in competitive sport as both a school of discipleship and as a means to reach others for Christ.
Keynote: Servant Leadership in sports ministry in a post-COVID world
Andrew Parker, Ridley Hall, Cambridge
Servant leadership is a conceptual assumption that underpins the Christian life but few have interrogated its characteristics and behaviours to any significant degree within ministry contexts and settings. Fewer still have considered its implications for sports ministry. This presentation puts forward a series of suggestions for the role of servant leadership in sports ministry in a post-COVID world. The narrative focuses on two key challenges: (i) the need for the intentional (re)development of strategic partnerships across the sports ministry sector; and (ii) the need for the intentional (re)development of a servant partnership culture within individual organisations. The presentation concludes by suggesting that only by taking up these challenges can the sports ministry sector achieve its Kingdom potential during the next decade and beyond.