12th Soccer School in 2024 for Burra Baptist

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27 Mar, 2024

IN August 2023, over 100 young people signed up for Burra Soccer School and we were so inspired to catch up with the team as they prepare for their 12th annual football academy, with over 90 children signed up already! The vision and planning is co-ordinated by Matthew Laurenson, Senior Coach, and Gregg Arthur, Burra Baptist Church Secretary, shares with us all the details about how the soccer school is reaching young people for Jesus and the impact it is having each year…

“We are thrilled to provide you with an update on the exciting Burra Soccer School that took place in the first week of August 2023, and plans that are coming together for Auguist 2024. We have 90 signed up so far for August 2024, and the pitch can hold around 100 with around 30- 35 in each of three childrens divisions – junior, intermediate and senior.

Soccer School is an exhilarating sensory experience for all involved. Each day began with energetic songs and captivating stories shared by popular coaches. The sessions then transitioned into skill development activities, followed by engaging games and, of course, lots and lots of football.

In short, the football content has some similarities to Ambassadors for Sport – skills coaching in the morning, matches in the afternoon.  But these pitch activities are interwoven by sessions indoors – which include high energy games, songs, teaching and coaches’ stories (testimonies).

As part of our program, we embarked on a journey through the book of Esther, walking alongside the characters and gaining valuable insights. Our memory verse for the week was Romans 8:28.

We were blessed to have an exceptional group of children and dedicated team of twelve coaches from across the UK. The weather was favourable, enhancing the overall experience. Notably, many children expressed a keen interest in the Gospel message, underscoring the impact of the event on their spiritual journeys.

In addition to the coaches we also have brought a special guest up each year – ex professional footballer, football chaplains, sports broadcaster, etc.
To do what we do in a very small, rural church, requires incredible buy-in and efforts from the local congregation.   It also needs financial support for travel, accommodation, and other things like venue hire, equipment, balls, gift books, water bottles, etc
I think having seen growth in demand from the community and an acceptance is testament to Gods blessings.
For a church to consider – find a niche that works in your demographic (not necessarily football), be uncompromising –  the strong football flavour will not be of interets for all kids but also blend in activities that engage theme song, indoor games etc).
The sport part has to be credible and very high  quality. There is much available in the islands for sport – shoddy would not work. The teaching and testimonies need to be  delivered to a similar high level and be raw and real!
And it needs a very able figurehead with a commitment to the vision and is able to cast that to the coaches and local host church.

As the children participate in their regular school routines, we ask for your prayers. Please join us in praying that they carry the excitement and lessons from Soccer School with them, drawing on their experiences to navigate challenges and grow in faith. Additionally, let us remember the coaches who have returned home. Pray that they reflect on the impactful week and continue to strengthen their own walks of faith.

Please keep this event in your prayers as we trust in God’s guidance and provision for another impactful year. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of these children and coaches.

all at Burra Baptist Church

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