With 30 years’ experience bringing hope in Christ to communities, the people behind Ambassadors Football GB are keen share their vision.
‘We want to show others how simple outreach through football can have an impact on local communities,’ said national director Martin Bateman. ‘With women’s football, walking football for the over 50s and under-11 sessions on a Saturday morning, we will explain how churches can get involved in reaching others through our national game.’
Ambassadors host training days, when church leaders and volunteers are shown how easy it is to organise a football programme. A new initiative in the north west includes working alongside schools with a unique style of coaching.
‘We develop skills but also encourage character values,’ explained Martin. ‘In Christian schools that is linked to a Bible verse but in a non-Christian context we show how good these values are and serve the school and community through the football programme.’
A number of churches have discovered that forming a football team and playing friendly games, or even joining a local league, gives them the opportunity to emphasise Christian values to the players, with opportunities to witness to opposing teams.
‘We were founded in 1990 and work in partnership with other sports groups and denominations to see God’s kingdom established,’ added Martin, ‘especially in hard-to-reach places such as housing estates and with homeless and marginalised people.’
Visitors to the Ambassadors stand will be able to chat to the organisation’s representatives about the possibilities for sporting mission involving football.
• Ambassadors Football are on stand A36 at CRE North
• A CRE North seminar ‘Your church and sports ministry’ will be led by Christians in Sport, Scripture Union, Sports Chaplaincy UK, Ambassadors Football and the C of E Ministry of Sport Initiative at 4pm, Wed 13 Mar