Previous Event: 12th July 2012

Meeting nieuwe leden By Voka - Kamer van Koophandel Limburg, licensed creative commons Meeting nieuwe leden By Voka - Kamer van Koophandel Limburg, licensed creative commons

‘Increasing social capital in sporting communities – the role of sports chaplaincy’

Steve Stubbing
NSW Network Coordinator

Overview of Steve Stubbings talk given on July 12th 2012 titled;


Steve Stubbings gave an entertaining and thorough insight into the important supportive role that a Sports Chaplain undertakes in both our elite and local sports communities. Based on his hands-on involvement as Sports Chaplain at the Penrith Panthers and his work in the NSW branch of Sports Chaplaincy Australia, Steve outlined the typical situations where he is called upon to assist. The issues are varied ranging from helping players to psychologically cope with sporting injuries, to handling other personal stresses such as family illness, other tragedies, marital and partner problems,  and media matters.  It is a non-paying function, entirely voluntary. However, it is a very satisfying role of fulfilling a real need by carrying out god’s work in a very practical way.

Steve has held the position of   Sports Chaplain with the Penrith Panthers for the past fifteen years. By his own admission, he is an avid Rugby League supporter. 

 As Sports Chaplain Steve has identified that he provides “Social Capital” to the Panthers football  community. That is, by nurturing sound personal relationships, giving members a feeling of belonging, security, and providing comfort and support in times of need.  Steve uses four guiding values found in a book called “Simply Christian” written by Tom Wright book (2006) which apply to most people. They being a:  longing for justice, quest for spirituality, hunger for relationships and delight in beauty.

 The potential contribution of Sports Chaplaincy to sporting communities is significant. Steve mentioned some startling estimates regarding our interest in sports.  About 80% of Australians are connected to a sports club in one way or another whilst there may be 10%  who are  regular Church goers  i.e. attend services once a month. Quite a contrast! This indicates our desire and preference to enjoy our leisure time within community’s settings. 

Steve also  explained his other work activities, and it is apparent  that being a  Sports Chaplain and working with Sports Chaplaincy Australia  are vital extensions  of his other  work commitments. He  works  as a Baptist minister  with  hands-on community involvement,  and  even  in his  commercial  work as a practicing Architect, Steve specializes  in the design of community buildings.

Questions and answers were taken throughout the talk with all attendees actively participating, and a wonderful exchange of ideas and viewpoints occurred.

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