Sports people are no different from anyone else – they face many of the same trials, tragedies and temptations. The only difference is that these are often confronted under the public gaze and with the on-going pressure to perform. This is where Chaplains step in – offering a listening ear, confidential care, and positive guidance.

Our chaplains on average, provide 9 hours per week of pastoral care support per club. This involves attending club functions, training, game day, phone calls, texting, catching up with club members, leading a Life Skills session and generally being available to the club.

Over the year research by Sports Chaplaincy Australia estimates that a typical chaplain has approximately 500 grace/care moments with people. This is as simple as a brief “How are you?” to visiting an injured player pre-op in hospital. It might mean sending an encouraging text message or being available to offer relationship/marriage support.

Sports Chaplains can provide a wide range of advantages and benefits to the sports community including:

  • providing clubs with a member care strategy
  • being a private, safe and listening ear for members going through tough times
  • critical incident and trauma first responders
  • suicide aware
  • a great person to go to when a club has ‘people’ issues
  • assist clubs committed to building healthy, stable and caring community
  • provide a sustainable strategy ‘on-top-of’ training strategies – chaplains are there when trainers leave!
  • they are a trusted member of the local club or sports community

And all of this is provided voluntarily. The only cost to the recipient community is to provide for reasonable out of pocket expenses e.g. transports costs, phone.

If you want to take advantage of a Club Chaplain please contact [email protected]

Chaplains are a much needed resource in sport. Understandably much of our focus and energy is on running the business and on team performance. Having someone who can offer excellent pastoral care to players and staff has brought a new dimension to Ajax Cape Town Football Club, enabling us to become more people focused. Our Chaplain is greatly valued by people across our organisation, regardless of position, ethnicity and religion. People trust him to offer a listening ear, to keep a confidence and offer sound advice where needed.

His presence has been crucial in times of crisis, and this was felt most acutely following the recent death of one of our playing staff. I take the view that engaging a Chaplain is not only the right thing to do it also makes good business sense. I commend the idea of Sports Chaplaincy to the wider sports community of South Africa.

Testimonial Ari Efstathiou
Ari Efstathiou
CEO at Ajax Cape Town FC

As a footballer I know from first-hand experience the highs and lows of the beautiful game; I know the unique pressures that affect professional footballers spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. Chaplains care for the whole person and their presence in a club can help players and coaches navigate those pressures. I believe Chaplains can be agents of positive change in the South African game. Through God’s grace and power I have been a recipient of this change. A Chaplain played an important role in the process. I'm grateful to him and am eternally grateful to Jesus.

Testimonial Jonathan Armogam
Jonathan Armogam
Vasco Da Gama FC

``In our modern society, there are lots of young people that build their identity around success on the sport field. They believe that they will be accepted and loved if they perform and they build their identity around this lie. Unfortunately many sportsmen and women are lost when they are not selected or deemed to be ``not good enough``. Dreams of being a professional sportsmen are shattered and hearts are wounded. This leads to men and women turning towards addictions, depression, mental illness, eating disorders and many other social problems.

I believe that it is crucial for our young sportsmen and women to understand what their true identity is. That they are valued regardless of their on-field performance. SCZA has provided a unique service to my young players with regards to this crucial matter. By being there to serve the players, build relationships and installing a self confidence or self worth, the boys have developed as young men with character and a positive mindset.

I believe that every sports team in South Africa can benefit from the support and servant leadership of SCZA. Ultimately it is all about the heart behind the jersey!

Testimonial Louis Koen
Louis Koen
SA Rugby - High Performance Coach & Stellenbosch Rugby Academy

Having a sports chaplain at Ajax has made a real difference to me and I know many of my team mates. Having someone to guide you and keep you on the right track is a must. As a sports person life can throw many curve balls at you. This is the time when you need someone to talk to that you can trust who doesn’t have a decision to make about your future. The guidance of a chaplain doesn’t only help you live a better life off the field; it also makes you motivated to better yourself on the field. I pray that sports chaplaincy grows in South Africa.

Testimonial Travis Graham
Travis Graham
Captain at Ajax Cape Town FC

I am genuinely excited about the establishment of Sports Chaplaincy South Africa and the potential impact it can have on South African sport. Sport is full of emotional highs and lows that need to be handled correctly if they are not to have a negative impact on an athlete’s life. Chaplains offer encouragement, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on and are able to help sportspeople to regain perspective by speaking truth into their lives. Every person needs this if they are to thrive as God intended. I know from personal experience the value of having someone walk alongside me in this way. This has helped in both my personal and professional life. My prayer is that many thousands will be impacted in a similar way as the reach of Sports Chaplaincy grows across South African sport.

Testimonial Wayne Sandilands
Wayne Sandilands
Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. & Bafana Bafana

I highly recommend a Sports Chaplain at all levels of any professional sports club. As a coach having a chaplain to provide confidential support and welfare for the players in a highly pressurized industry is invaluable. The fact that players have someone other than the coach that they can trust, confide and talk about real life issues creates a really positive environment for the players to improve and perform on weekly basis. This has definitely been my experience at Ajax Cape Town and presently at Cape Town All Stars.

Testimonial Ian Taylor
Ian Taylor
Professional Soccer Coach