During the dry season of May to August—when little work is being done in the fields—we organize a football and netball league. The season runs for 10-15 weeks and the games become a real community event—an average of 100 people show up for each game, either to play or to watch. During and after the season, we work with teams to develop income-generating projects. This looks different each year, but our hope is to provide tangible assistance that is empowering and sustainable for the community.
Aside from the project support, this league provides us with some amazing opportunities to engage with the community. Most importantly, we have the privilege to present a gospel message before each game. Additionally, the regular games enable us to develop relationships with the men and women. We find that the league is a key way of listening to and learning from our community.
Establish a consistent and respected Christian league that empowers local teams to run successful projects, thereby addressing income needs and strengthening communal ties.
1) Establish a local sponsor for each team.
2) Establish a football committee that enforces league values.
3) Create standards for team behavior, on and off the field.
4) Partner with teams in developing their project plan.
5) Obtain funds for project development.
Update from Oct. 2010
As big events like the Olympics and World Cup show us, sports bring people all around the world together. Ruvheneko Trust aims to use sports as a platform for sharing the Gospel and doing ministry in communities. The Trust supports one local team in Sanyati, the Dhiba Football Club, and is hoping to add more local teams to a Christian league where the Gospel is shared at every game.
Thank you to Lancaster Free Methodist Church in Lancaster, United Kingdom for donating a wonderful set of jerseys for the Dhiba Football Club!
Are you involved in a local Christian sports league? We’d love your ideas and advice! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.