Christian athletes strong in faith

by Laura Dillavou

Despite small numbers, the Simpson College Fellowship ofChristian Athletes continues to grow in faith and attitude.

“Right now, we are at a transitional period. We need more peopleto come so we can start doing more projects and events. We’re justnot as productive right now as we would like to be,” said freshmanco-leader Amanda VanFossen.

The FCA brings together athletics and Christianity, with a focuson using coaches and athletes to promote a positive attitude andmannerism on and off the field. More information about theorganization can be found at

“Our purpose here is to glorify God in what we do. It bringsnon-athletes and athletes together with God. At our meetings, weusually do a bible study and then play a game, like wallyball, ifthere are enough people,” said sophomore co-leader TabithaIreland.

Ireland said that while numbers started out in the 20s, theyhave decreased due to people’s schedules. The lives of studentathletes are packed with mandatory practices, meetings, and othercommitments, but some take a time out to reflect on their purposeand relationship with God.

“I am a swimmer and I think that this give me an opportunity towitness and also involve Christianity with athletics,” saidVanFossen.

The FCA is started in many junior high schools throughout thenation, where it is continued on in high school and into college.Many Division I schools, such as Duke, have large chapters thatencompass many athletes into their mix.

While Simpson may not have those kinds of numbers, they do havea vision for the future and a positive attitude about their currentsituation.

“Hopefully we will get more members and then we can start oncommunity projects in high schools and maybe an all-campus event,”said VanFossen.

“There is a statewide high school retreat each year, and thisyear it’s in Marshalltown. The college students are chosen to leadsessions on dealing with different situations a Christian athletemight encounter in junior high and high school and sticking withhis/her beliefs. It helps those students learn how to deal withthings in a Christian manner,” said Ireland.

Reaching out to high school and junior high students is animportant aspect of the FCA.

“They see us on their level, maybe more so than their coaches.They can relate to us and understand what the real message is,”said Ireland.

If you are interested in joining the FCA, contact TabithaIreland or Amanda VanFossen for more information. It is free andopen to anyone.