Passion for Sport
Full Steam Ahead
The launch of Passion for Sport took place on Thursday 5th March, in Central London, where 40 people gathered to welcome the new name and hear about the future ministry focus.
The new name, Passion for Sport, better reflects the heart of the ministry, which is passionate about sport but even more passionate about introducing sports fans to Jesus, as Adrian Barnard, CEO explained:
“The word passion is key. It really catches well how we’re trying to engage with sports fans who are passionate about their sport, their teams and their sporting heroes – and linking in with our passion to tell those people about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Sport and Faith – Passions in Partnership
People have a multitude of passions in life – food, family, music, cars, TV soaps… One of the great passions for many people in the world today is sport. At Passion for Sport this common, global passion is an open door to introduce a second, greater passion – knowing Jesus.
“We share a passion for sport but more than that we are also passionate about Jesus. We are passionate about introducing sports fans to him and seeing their lives transformed by the power of the gospel,” says Adrian Barnard, Passion for Sport, CEO.
Passion for Sport is the new name, announced on 5th March 2015, for 2K Plus International Sports Media. For 20 years this ministry has been producing sports programmes with a Christian perspective for radio and online broadcast. The programmes provide an opportunity for sports people to share their faith, and present a Christian perspective on issues that arise in sport such as cheating, racism and greed.
Historically, Passion for Sport’s ministry has been mainly through radio for sports fans overseas with programmes designed primarily for young and middle-aged men. With this group under-represented in the UK church, there is now a new ministry focus on the UK.
Mark Rylands is the Bishop of Shrewsbury and a Passion for Sport trustee: “God wants everyone to know about his saving love for them seen supremely in his Son, Jesus Christ. In the past century, the Church in the UK has not been very effective in sharing this good news with some parts of our society: those aged between 15 and 50, particularly men. Many people are passionate about sport. We want them to discover the God who is passionate about them.”
Adrian continues: “From today we will build on this foundation as we develop online resources to help the UK church reach out particularly to men who love sport to help them discover a passion for Jesus.”
The resources include dedicated sport-specific webpages, podcasts, sports quizzes, 10-pin bowling competitions and other events for churches to organise, along with testimonies from sports people. And with the Rugby World Cup 2015™ in the UK this year, Passion for Sport is partnering with Engage 2015 to encourage churches to seize the opportunity for outreach.
Passion for Sport produces two weekly programmes as well as reports from major sporting events including the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup. Through our programmes, sports fans hear about faith in Jesus directly from their sporting heroes.
Former Scotland international Brian Irvine scored the winning penalty to win the 1990 Scottish Cup for Aberdeen:
“I’m passionate about football,” he says. “But it doesn’t compare to the passion I have for Jesus which drives me every single day of my life, helps me through the ups and downs, the good times and the bad times. That’s real passion.”
Quiz, cake and a Football League referee!
An Event for Men:
When? 7.30pm, Saturday 7th March 2015
Where? Lancing Tabernacle, 105 North Road, Lancing, BN15 9BB
Show Off Your Baking Talent! Come on chaps show us what you can bake! Bake a cake or cakes with a sporting theme. It could be a football pitch, tennis racket, cricket bat or, if you’re particularly ambitious, the England football manager, Roy Hodgson. Bring it along on the night to be auctioned. It can be funny or serious, the only conditions are that it’s edible and has a sporty theme. Prizes for the top three.
Demonstrate Your Sporting Knowledge! Take part in our legendary sports quiz. Come as a team, ideally 4-6 people, or come and join a team when you arrive. Sharpen up your competitive spirit for this no-holds-barred event. Don’t give an inch because there’s only one team prize, the winner takes it all!
Take Part in an Auction! Sporty cakes (see above) and sporting paraphernalia up for auction. All auction proceeds going to our charity to introduce sports fans to Jesus through media.
Hear from former Football League referee - Bob Hamer! He’ll talk about his career and how his life changed dramatically when he met Jesus Christ. There’s no need to throw glasses at this ref, he’ll bring his own!
Bob Hamer started refereeing in 1965 in the Manchester area. He was a Football League referee for 16 years from 1977 until 1993, refereeing games in all divisions from the Premier League to Division 4.
In 1993 he made the headlines when he was knocked to the ground by angry fans at Exeter after awarding a last-minute penalty against the home side in a key relegation battle against Port Vale.
In 1985 he was selected by FIFA to run the line in a World Cup qualifier between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland and in 1992 he officiated between Denmark against Germany, a match involving the then European champions against the World champions.
Since 1993 he has been a referee assessor with the Premier League, the Football League and the Football Association.