Thursday, August 25, 2011

Courting the Holy Spirit

Sports Chaplains foster faith and free-throws
Many prayed for the Grizzlies, but to no avail

Dave Klassen constantly works with professional sports teams – such as the Abbotsford Heat, the B.C. Lions, the Vancouver Canucks, and (back in the day) the Vancouver Grizzlies – but he's not a coach or trainer; he's a sports chaplain.

"What I do with the Canucks and Lions, whether in the playoffs or in the season, is as a discipler, mentor, and friend," says Klassen, a director at Athletes in Action. "I think it's similar to what we'd do in the Church in a pastoral role."

He said the spiritual part of the game is oft-overlooked, but very important in helping players and teams succeed.

"(When) you understand God didn't make everyone the same and you are as uniquely made as the next guy, then you don't have to look at your neighbour and say, 'Why can't I be like him?'" Klassen said. "You can look at him and say, 'We need that guy,' because his gifts make us a complete team."

Klassen also takes pro athletes out on the town to help the less fortunate.

You can read more about Klassen and his work in his recent profile in The B.C. Catholic.

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