Meet the Coach: Andy Dutton

Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

I am Andy Dutton, Croydon born and raised. I’ve been with Kick London since 2007, in various roles and capacities, but currently a Senior Coach, overseeing our social media outputs and internal coach education.

 

What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Favourite sport is easily and unashamedly football. I still dabble in golf in the warmer weathers, and in my past have been known to play rugby union and skateboard. I support West Ham, but often wonder what the point is!

 

How did you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

I was studying Sports Coaching at the University of East London when I became a Christian (through playing football for a church league team). Through our club administrator, an e-mail came through that Kick London were looking for Christian coaches. I called the number on the e-mail, and the rest is history!

 

What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

I think I have had possibly the widest range of experiences possible, from coaching out in France for a month with Spring Harvest, to being offered a Polo mint by Linvoy Primus in a hotel bar! But the highlight that sticks out for me was to share a Gospel centred talk at our annual tournament in 2016, and to see (roughly) 40 young people put their hands up to say that they were interested in knowing more about becoming a Christian!

 

What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

 

I have definitely heard some gems over the year! A reception child asked his Teaching Assisstant “Does Coach Andy live in the cupboard?” today, because he saw me come out after putting some equipment away! I’ll go for a seasonal one though: A child once asked me “Why doesn’t Father Christmas wear any pants? Because he’s Saint Knicker-less!” Well, it tickled me, anyway!

 

As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

 

I once heard it said that “Where your passion meets the thing that breaks your heart, you will find your calling”. My passion in life is sport, and a lost generation of young people breaks my heart. When I say a lost generation, I mean lost to neglect, to broken home, to gangs, to crime, to drugs, to knives. If Kick London can use sport to bring any level of self-worth and love to young people’s lives, whether they are socially deprived, or even just needing a “Well done!”, then it was all worth it. Jesus called us to reach out to the poor and lonely, and through sport, Kick London is taking the Gospel out of the church and into the community.

Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport? What would his favourite sport been? Who would he have supported?

Absolutely! Jesus hung out with “every-man”; the fishermen, the locals, the tax-collectors. Why wouldn’t Jesus have been in our pubs, enjoying Super Sunday? I imagine Jesus would have engaged in any sport where people would have been, and I imagine he would have been good at sport as well! He was a carpenter, and you have to be physically fit to do that! Who would he have supported; impossible to answer; Beitar Jerusalem maybe?!

 

What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?
As a player, winning the league and cup double for New Life FC, my home church. As a fan…eugh…not a lot to shout about really!

 

What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?
I mentor a lot of secondary school aged pupils, and have had some really good chats around them turning their lives around or making better choices. I think a real highlight would be a young person actively seeking faith, and asking questions around that. However, I honestly think that being a step on a journey to faith is just as important as someone getting there, so I think just having that discussion would be cool. Equally though, a young person resolving to make a positive change in their life is always a massive thing for me!

 

Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

 

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Eating Elephants (Diligence)

“How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time”.

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One of my Dad’s favourite quotes is a constant reminder as I navigate my way through this gift of life. From GCSE’s to ballet exams to University deadlines. Small goals with a healthy awareness of the bigger goal is vital in progression, and we are not alone in this, as Jesus is guiding us along the way and filling us with hope in each step we take.

Every day I hear moans of deadlines, worries of work loads, concern for the future. Being in my third and final year of University brings its challenges, looming deadlines and an ever-growing concern of an expanse of time that will be opened to us after that exciting graduation day. It is far too easy to get caught up in a ball of worry and a desire to pause time, just for a little while, till I’ve worked out what I want to do: what my passion is, where I see myself in a year’s time. Yet this never seems to motivate me, and although it’s good to take time to pause, to reflect, to ask for advice from others, keeping a greater focus on smaller, more manageable goals, allows me to keep my head down and do my best. But I cannot do this by myself, by praying before I embark on my day, on the work that I need to do, I give my day to God and I am able to enjoy learning, researching, finding out new ideas. The deadlines become less stressful and more of an opportunity to discover. This is a rather idyllic view of it all, and it doesn’t happen as smoothly as this every day. But I know that when I’ve had a productive session, and worked well, God is with me, and He is just as much with me when I’ve barely done a thing, and feel deflated at the lack of progress I have made. God is always by my side, helping me out in the big tasks and the small.

As I keep going, bit by bit, I progress each day towards an exciting adventure that is constantly unfolding in front of me. Adventure: a fun way to view a task, suggesting an exploration, that doesn’t have to result in success, but moves, meanders and finds out. A path of discovery. Diligence keeps you on this adventure. Each step is a step in the right direction, no matter how slow or small that step is, if it’s moving forward, closer to your big goal, your ambition, then that is one mighty step indeed!

The definition of Diligence, is ‘careful and persistent work or effort’ (English Oxford Living Dictionaries, 2017). I love that ‘careful’ and ‘persistent’ feature. It guides a thoughtful approach that enables you to reach your goal. As a dancer, I cannot reach a performance level overnight, it takes years and years of classes, strengthening, stretching. The phrase ‘No pain, no gain’ is a frequent thought. And yet, with each stretch, each class, I am getting closer to being on stage. Even choreographing breath is required, each detail needs to be rehearsed and reviewed, each refined detail is a step in the adventure of performing. Pointe work, in ballet, for example, is a milestone in a ballet dancers career, however advanced he or she may be. Trying on my first pointe shoes was such a joy filled experience, I had done it! Yet, before this momentous day, we had carried out years of pliés, rises, footwork, strengthening my ankles, my feet, ensuring that I was ready. Without these steps, my pointework would have been weak and dangerous to have attempted with possibilities of twisted ankles and crooked toes. But because of each step along the way, I was able to get stronger at pointework. We waited so long to get there but it was such fun when we reached it, when we achieved our goal.

Such a persistence is shown time and time again by Jesus and His disciples, throughout His life. A key example is in Luke 5: 1-12, when Jesus taught the people on the shore from Simon’s boat. After Jesus had spoken, He told Simon to ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch’ (Luke 5: 4). Simon responded by saying ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let the nets’ (Luke 5: 5). ‘When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.’ (Luke 5:6). Simon had been fishing all night and had not caught any fish, yet Jesus shows that you should never give up, keep going. If we trust in Him, he provides and he helps us to keep going, to stay on track towards our goal, to try another time to put our nets out even when we’re tired and only have a little faith. It highlights perseverance from Simon, that he had been waiting all night to catch fish, and yet, although he did not think fish would be caught, he still put the nets out one more time, as Jesus said, and fish were provided, in abundance. His perseverance resulted in achieving his goal.

Even when it seems really hard to keep going and the goal seems so far away, we must never give up. Every step, however small or slow, is a step in the right direction, and a step that we are taking with Jesus by our side holding a torch, guiding the way. Jesus never gives up on us, no matter how many times we do something wrong, make the wrong decision, give up. He forgives us when we say sorry and we get to try again! What an incredible truth!

 

Tasha Sauer

Dance Coach

Meet the Coach: Tom Greenhill

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

My name in Tom Greenhill. I live in South East London. I’ve been involved in Kick for roughly a year and a half

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Grown up I have followed and taken part in many sports including athletics, football, rugby, swimming and tennis. However my main to sports are football and athletics. The team I support are the mighty ARSENAL! I have affiliations with the club Blackheath and Bromley Harriers as it’s the athletics club I used to compete for.

3. How did you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

During my final year at university I was looking for jobs to do with me degree (BSc Coach Education) when one of my oldest friends (Ali Park) and a coach recommended I applied for a job. So, after a manic emailing and interviews here I am year and a half down the line part of an amazing family and amazing job.

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

My highlight was when I got told I was going to be given a full-time contract in a local school. It felt amazing as it was a school I knew a lot about and I knew some of the staff there. It also gave me the opportunity to challenge myself and grow in many ways.

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

Being a coach in a primary school there are many funny and silly things said to myself. There was one time a child had a biscuit in her hand and said Mr Greenhill you have hit. Despite me refusing I was sitting next to she decided to try and force it into my mouth. Needless to say I didn’t sit in the dining hall again after.

6. As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

Yes. I also said that when I started my degree my aim was to help at least one child make it in a sport that they loved. Working for kick didn’t just give me that opportunity it also gave me the chance to share my faith and how it’s helped me through the years. it allowed me to install this sense of faith and self-worth into them so they could go on and achieve anything they wanted to in life. Kick (academy) so far has also played a massive part in our youth at church, those that are able to go out on their own have started coming to church and finding out what God is about.

7. Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport? What would his favourite sport been? Who would he have supported?

I could imagine Jesus dabbled in sports, playing where he saw people needed help but also guided others. I would have to say athletics as its individual sport so he could have got to know you on a personal level, but more importantly you could have got to known him on a personal level. He would have supported those who need the most help so Arsenal?

8. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

My personal sporting highlight came when I had the chance to compete for my county in athletics. That same year my athletics team (Blackheath and Bromley Harriers) went on to win another (and a record number of) UK club title. More recently though after a hard-fought football season my football club Christ Central winning the league after just one league loss all season.

9. What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?

For a child to come up to me and say they’ve got a trial at a professional football team or any other sport they want to go into.

10. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

A massive throw back from me completing a cross country relay for Blackheath and Bromley Harriers.

Greenhill

Meet the Coach: Simon James

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

I’m Simon and I live in the beautiful town of Croydon (Absolutely love living there). I only started working for Kick in September 2016 and am heading up our mentoring and doing some PE lessons as well.

2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

I love to watch any sport really (including last summer when I had a lot of time on my hands and getting really into the Kabaddi premier league) and will give the majority a go as well! Football is my main sport purely because that was the main sport at my school. I tend to follow a team in most sports as well including most American sports but Arsenal is the one in football.

3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

I’ve known about Kick London for a long time as others from my church have worked there for years! I never thought I would end up working here but our CEO, Joe Lowther was my head of department at my old job and him as well as our Quality manager Hans who i also worked with in my old job just gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse at a time in my life where I really needed to move on. God really opened a door for me to come to Kick London perfectly!!

4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

It has to be the mentoring as I get to work with some amazing young people. Overall just meeting and talking to any of the students in my schools has been great. I have also been slightly surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed doing assemblies!!

5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

I was running an after school club for some year 1 and 2 students and one came up to me and said “are you in year 6 cos you’re really big”. It was the most serious look I have ever seen on his face and the first time in a long time I have been mistaken for being 11 years old. He also got really upset when he found out school didn’t finish at year 6…………

6. As a Christian, how does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why is Kick London important for the church?

I have a heart to serve young people and to support them in as many ways as I can (I have a particular passion for education and the education system) and Kick London allows me to working in schools doing mentoring and with an emphasis on faith as well, the perfect combo for me.

7. Do you think Jesus have engaged with sport?

YES! But not for a winner and a loser to be honest but as its amazing fellowship for Christians and a great way to witness to people (we all change whilst playing sport!).

8. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

I’ve been blessed to have so many great experiences ranging from going to the Olympics in London, going to Yankee Stadium, seeing Becks score from the half way line at Selhurst against Wimbledon but my biggest highlight was going to the Camp Nou to see Barca play. From a personal perspective just being able to play sport after so many injuries is a highlight enough for me!!!

9. What is the most exciting thing that could happen in a regular working day that would be a highlight of your year?

That I get to talk about Jesus to any young person I meet and them following him as their Lord and Saviour.

10. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your team’s kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

Simon Golf

 

 

 

Chat with the Chairman

In this week’s feature, we took a moment to speak to Chairman of Kick London, Matt King.

How long have you been involved in Kick London, and what have your roles been?

I first got involved in Kick London when Tom Rutter and the founding Trustees presented on Kick London at a men’s breakfast at West Wickham and Shirley Baptist church about 13 years ago and I thought “what an amazing concept” – engaging with young people on their agenda – sport – and in doing sharing love and role modelling through the behaviours, messaging and attitudes of our coaches.

Around this time, there was a fatal stabbing of a young person in Shirley.  The breakfast presentation and this violence motivated a number of us at the breakfast to launch Kick London in Croydon to respond to the needs within the borough.  Shortly after that, a local trust provided us with 3 years of funding to employ Hans Sims, our first Kick London coach and development officer in Croydon.  From there Kick London started to grow in partnership with Tom in Richmond.

Initially we ran Kick London in Croydon, as a branch of Kick London, before I became a Trustee of Kick London.  Then in 2015 I become Chair following the sad and early passing of our previous Chair, Alan Latham.  I love working with Joe Lowther (CEO), the other Trustees and the wider staff team to develop and build Kick London.

2. On a personal level, what are your favourite sports?

Having recently turned 40 (well over 5 years ago now!), I “enjoy” trying to keep fit. I genuinely enjoy cycling and I lead a cycling group at my church – 7.30am every Sunday morning if you would like to join us for a 20 mile cycle around the Surrey country.  We have done a few special trips – cycling around the Isle of Wight, to Paris, to Brussels and regular trips down to Brighton.

Matt cycle

As I passed the 40 years mark, I trained and ran the London Marathon raising money for a Kick London academy coach who died from bowel cancer before the age of 40.   I watch most sports on TV and follow from a distance my local football team – Crystal Palace.

3. Why do you feel sport is important for the church?

Sport is loved by many young people and we know that it has holistic benefit for all us – physical, mental, emotional and social benefits.  We also believe that it can help  develop personal values and behaviours such as teamwork, putting each other first and forgiveness and therefore we have found it a great way to help young people consider and develop spiritually too.

Less than 15% of young people go to church once month but many more young people regularly engage in sport.  So if we want to help young people consider faith and the spiritual aspect of life, we need to engage on their agenda and on their territory and not expect them to come to us.  Therefore it is a great way to engage with young people and help them develop physically, socially, emotionally and as a Christian organisation, consider spiritual issues through the work of our coaches.

4. On a missional level, why do you feel Kick London have an important role to play in the church?

If 15% of young people come into our churches once a month to engage on the spiritual dimension of life – this means that 85% of young people do not.

Our passion at Kick London is to engage with the 85% of young people who may never have the opportunity to experience and understand the relevance of faith in their lives.  Through the work, role modelling, love and care of our coaches, young people have the an opportunity to explore in a sensitive and relevant way Christian values and the role of faith in the way they live.

5. Do you believe Jesus would have played football? Who would he have supported?

Throughout the New Testament part of the bible, we see Jesus engaging relevantly with people.  Wherever people were and in what ever they were doing, Jesus was there and engaging with them.  Whether it was at a meal, at a wedding, at a well collecting water or helping people to fish.  Jesus was there and involved.  So I believe if Jesus was physically here today, I believe he would have strolled up to a football pitch or a netball court and engaged with people as they played.  So yes, today he would have been at the sport’s fields/courts with people and I believe he would have got involved and joined in.

Who would he have supported?  Probably not “Crystal Palace” – as a King – he tended not to conform to what was expected and King’s are expected to be in Palaces – so I don’t expect he would have been at “the Palace”! 😉

6. How has your involvement with Kick London impacted you personally?

Kick London keeps me active and fresh on the agenda which I believe was left to us all in the Bible through the  Great Commandment “to love each other” and the Great Commission “to go and make disciples”.

That is at the heart of Kick London and it has kept me grappling with what that means today.   It keeps me learning and trying to improve the relevance and effectiveness of the Great Commission and Commandment for young people in 2017 – we need to keep learning and improving.

7. How is Kick London different now to when you were first involved?

When we started we engaged with young people in one academy and a couple of schools.  We now engage with over 7,000 young people every week, across many London Boroughs and Schools.

We see more young people’s lives being transformed – we saw that when we started too – but now we are able to do see it happen more often.

We have a team that has grown from 1 person (Tom) to over 35 employed staff and many volunteers.

We have grown the diversity of sports from football, to dance, to cricket and the whole PE curriculum.

We have grown our income from £30k per year to over £550k per year.

We were the smallest sports based Christian ministry in the UK and we are now in the top 2.

We have an excellent CEO in Joe Lowther who has built and leads a great team.

8. What do you believe is next in the Kick London adventure?

More of the same, but with a heart and a vision to do it better and bigger…

… better – improving the quality of what we are seeking to do and therefore improve the quantity and quality of transformational outcomes which makes a lasting difference to their lives and

…  bigger – engaging with more young people, in more schools and other institutions, in more London Boroughs, and then across the UK and then Internationally.

The other challenge that we have own our hearts is diversity.  What about engagement with those with special needs and disabilities?  One of our aims is inclusivity, are we really 100% inclusive – we want to be.

9. What is your dream for the future of Kick London?

I would like to see a Kick London coach working in every school in the UK.

In England alone, that’s over 16,000 schools, so that will require over 5,000 coaches.  That isn’t going to be achieved overnight but it’s dream that helps drive me on and build on 35 coaches and 7,000 young people – but we have a long way to go.

10. What have been some of the highlights during your involvement with Kick London?

I have enjoyed the hard work of day-to-day engagement over the years with Trustees and staff in the running and oversight of the organisation.  And then every now and again, its great to sit back and reflect on some of the highlights, which have included…

The 10 young people who made a commitment of faith at a recent Kick London academy.

The “family” atmosphere and care amongst the staff team.

Participating in last year’s Kick London triathlon.

Seeing the belief that Trusts and funders continue to place in what Kick London is achieving and generating significant investment income for Kick London.

Reading the quotes and citations from head teachers, young people and coaches on the difference Kick London has made in schools and lives as part of our annual evaluation.

 

You Sunk My Battleship! (Aspiration)

Battleship

September is a month where anybody associated with schools is looking ahead at another year of development for themselves or a child they know. Many are looking at what they could possibly achieve. They are planning for something better than they currently know and their hope of achievement signals their aspirational intent.

My Aspiration for the year is to help my mentees reach their potential and achieve their aspirations. Naturally I prepare by reading their referrals and considering mentoring methods…

But there is something missing …

So, it’s 11pm on a Sunday evening and I am raiding my loft looking for the games of my childhood that might inspire the next generation of children.

Then it hits me in the face… Battleships literally fell off the self and hit me between the eyes. This game could be the perfect way to get young people to understand targets and goals. What if two ships were removed. What if the remaining three ships, resembled the goals we have for ourselves – the goal for today (the destroyer – smallest ship), the goal for the month of September (the Submarine), The goal for the next year or when we grow up (if we ever decide to!) (the Aircraft Carrier). The hope we have in battleships is that our ships (or in this case goals) remain intact and unaffected by the enemy.

This then goes beyond a game of battleships and becomes a game of seeking to discover the goals of the person opposite and the kind of things that might destroy/ damage their chances of achieving those goals. The kinds of things that start to make us give up hope of achieving our goals. Hope in what can be achieved keeps us aspirational, when hopelessness leaves us unmotivated and uninspired through an overwhelming feeling of sunkenness.

One mentee (who for safeguarding sake will be called Billy) has the aspiration of becoming a world-famous runner or boxer and can identify the goals needed to get him to that place. Billy can be described as aspirational, when another mentee (George) struggles to aspire to complete a goal even in his next lesson. However, both are in danger of being sunk.

For Billy’s aspiration is wrapped up in the opinions of other people. There are extremely successful boxers and runners who aren’t world famous. Iwan Thomas is a European Gold medallist in the 400 metres but it took him starving on an island in the Pacific Ocean with Bear Grylls, before I could recognise who he was. You could argue that he was more famous when he won his medal in 1998 but that simply means that unless Billy reaches the heights of Usain Bolt or appears in a variety of TV shows, his achievement of his aspiration is likely to be short lived or remain unachieved. A shorter-term goal of his was to lose weight because of the way he looked in the mirror. Billy made me realise that whilst it is great to be aspirational, it can also be damaging if what we aspire to achieve creates negativity.

What if Billy aspired to being successful rather than world famous? This success could be qualified and the achievement basked in. What if Billy aimed to become fitter to make playing sports more enjoyable, rather than losing weight to be aesthetically pleasing? What would be the benefit emotionally if he had positive aspirations rather than negative aspirations?

In asking myself these questions, to help Billy, I was forced to face my own aspirations. I aspire to be valued by people in my life, I aspire to lose weight to become aesthetically pleasing to myself and others (and truthfully always have), and I aspire to be a better version of myself in a year’s time than I am now. People, and their opinions, come and go, weight is gained and lost, and if I am always wanting to be better, then how can I ever be happy with how I am now? These aspirations. The hope of achieving these goals, has led me to many a dark hour and many negative decisions.

Then comes the stark realisation than none of these aspirations are what God wants for my life or anybody else’s life. God did not make human kind in order that we be valuable and pleasing to each other. God did not make human kind so that we should sit in the dark oppressed by the expectations and pressures of this world. No… as Paul writes:

“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:5-9

Paul writes about the day when Jesus will return and the difference between those who are saved and those who are not in a relationship with the living God. But this theme extends to how to live life. On that day, what will be your most important achievement? How will your six pack look in comparison to the light of Christ? Will it matter? Will fame save any person? Will money buy a Lamborghini spaceship that can reach heaven?

No, the most important aspiration is achieving a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, we should set ourselves goals that strengthen this relationship. If you need a place to start, Jesus (in Matthew 22: 37-38) gives us two important goals:

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

It is time for me to go and reassess my aspirations. Which of your aspirations need adjusting to result in positive decisions and goals? Which of your aspirations align with God’s hope for your life?

Peter Brooks

Sports Coach & Mentor | Kick London

Kick London Team Triathlon 2017 Review

The Team Triathlon was a challenge that Kick London fully embraced; one which epitomises the very word ‘Team’.

On Saturday 10th June, Kick London dared to take on an Olympic Distance Triathlon in Teams of Three. Friends and Family, Staff and Trustees were all part of this Team effort. A total of over 50 participants.

Some being brave (others say crazy!) taking on all three disciplines whilst others completing at least one discipline including a 1.5k Swim, 40k Cycle and finished with a 10k Run.

All of our efforts were completed with one vision in mind ‘To see young people’s lives transformed with God’s love through Sport’. The Team Triathlon formed Kick London’s primary fundraising campaign in which the money raised supports us in our vision to reaching more communities across London and seeing stories of lives transformed.

The day Kicked off with the Swim Briefings at Pools on the Park in Richmond. None other than Joe Lowther got us underway with a prayer, and a much needed one at that! Meanwhile, the triathletes had their own briefing as they prepared for the challenge in front of them!

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So it was time for the 1.5k Swim to begin. With glorious sunshine, the 33m outdoor pool proved to be a popular option with Kick London taking over a number of lanes with what can only be described as some ‘interesting’ swimming strokes! The 1.5k Swim was a huge success and we all survived with no armbands to be seen!!!

As part 1 was complete, the Triathletes grabbed their towels and dashed to grab their cycling gear. However, we can’t progress without recognising Ross Cursitter’s unbelievable efforts in racing to a time of 27.09 minutes!

So the 40k Cycle got underway at Richmond Park, Richmond Gate to be precise. A gruelling 3.5 laps of Richmond Park’s toughest laps faced us. Highlights include Tom and Michelle Rutter’s tandem efforts…. absolute heroes! With the road bikes and mountain bikes setting off at the same time, I certainly know which bike had the advantage on this surface…. road bikes!!!! Each Cyclist got over the hills and made it through. Neil Brewster did this in fine fashion clocking an impressive time of 1 hour 33 minutes to claim the fastest 40k Cycle time.

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Whilst the Cyclists crossed the finish line the runners braced themselves for their 10k Run. This would be two 5k laps from Richmond Gate to Richmond Gate. The runners got off to a flying start as the sun beat down on us. By this point the triathletes were tiring, or maybe that was just me… and I’m not sure the word ‘tired’ even comes close to describing how I truly felt! At least it seemed that way as the fresh faced runners cruised past my tiresome efforts.

The finish line was in sight and so were the 10k runners. Whether participants crossed over line like gazelles (Phil Coales – 37.14 minutes) or whether they stumbled across the line, our vision remained our motivation ‘to see young people’s lives transformed’.

And there it was, the finish line. With each participant cheered on to the very end, the Team environment grew stronger and stronger.

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The Team effort is reflected in some stats for you:
As a Team, we Swam over 33km!
As a Team, we Cycled over 880km!
As a Team we Ran over 340km!
That’s a total of 1253km in one afternoon!!!

After a much needed rest we gathered ourselves and headed to the Roebuck Pub overlooking the beautiful Richmond Hill on a fine summers evening. A presentation evening followed which was a chance to celebrate everyone’s incredible efforts. In typical Kick London style, this was a real time of connecting and gathering as a Team.

The triathlon efforts were completed, the fundraising campaign was well underway but the vision is alive and growing.

You can contribute in supporting us in achieving our vision by giving via the link below:

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=teamtriathlon&un_jtt_redirect

Event Video:

 

Blog by Jonathan Sanders

 

What’s your Problem? What’s your Solution? And what happens if you fail?

When I joined Kick London in November 2014 I had to write a fundraising strategy. In doing this you are meant to ask yourself the above 3 questions. So I thought our problem is that children and young people have stopped coming to church in their droves. Today 85% of children in the UK don’t step foot inside a church. In the Church of England of those who do attend – you are more likely to have survived the Titanic than survive being at church from childhood to adulthood.

 

Having prayed about what God wanted us to do we felt He gave us John 9:4 – Jesus said “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” There is a window of time to reach these young people this is our problem.

 

So what’s our solution to this? Well, we need to go out to them, build relationship and invite them to church. 99.7% of young people are in school – that is where they are. Of the 10 million school-aged children in the UK only 460,000 attend church on a Sunday but 3.3 million play sport on a Sunday. Therefore we need to talk their agenda – sport and why can’t we offer young people both sport and church at the weekend.

 

So we go into schools offering PE National Curriculum, Street Dance and Mentoring provision to engage these kids. All our sessions have a Christian values application such as perseverance, integrity and joy. We are then able to enable local churches to offer extended sport or dance provision at the weekend at a time which complements church. The young people receive coaching, linked to a theme, with an inspirational thought from the Bible at the break before they play matches or if a dance Academy they do routines.

 

It has been our testimony that “God’s work, when done in God’s way, never lacks God’s resources” (Chesterton). In the past 2 years we have seen engagement with our young people grow from 2,500 to 6,300 every week in schools. Our coaches are delivering professional services in 43 schools across London with 25 church based Kick Academies engaging their local young people. We have seen 10% of these young people engage in church through the Kick Academies.

 

The provision is now across 21 Boroughs in London – as far North as Muswell Hill, far South as Epsom, as far West as Sunbury and as far East as Dartford. We want to be ready to continue to grow to meet this problem but we also want to be led by the Lord. It has been a conviction for us as an organisation to sow to alive and not dead works because 1 Cors 3:6  “I, Paul plant, Apollo’s waters, but only God grows.” We want God to do the growth so that a generation of young people are not lost.

 

Joe Lowther, CEO of Kick London

Meet the Coach: Josh Chaproniere

1. Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been involved with Kick London, and what is your role?

Josh Chaproniere, Ludlow Shropshire, 2 years, on and off, as a sessional coach.


2. What are your favourite sports, teams, affiliations, and such like?

Manchester United and I have a soft spot for LA Galaxy.


3. How do you come to be a part of the Kick London family?

Alastair Park told me about the interviews. He was volunteering at St Johns helping Jack Taylor, as we all know he needs as much help as he can get.


4. What has been your best highlight while working for Kick London?

Probably answering question about God for kids at Kent House, a lot of them believed God was all about rules and control, being able to tell them about the love of God was amazing.


5. What is the funniest thing a child has ever said to you while working for Kick London?

“Are Alastair and Andy twins?”

6. Does Jesus care about football? If so, who does he support?

He does! But I think he’d be a little like Hans and have numerous affiliations, but he’d show a little more love to Liverpool, as let’s face it someone has to.

7. What is your personal sporting highlight, either for you or the team/person you support?

Manchester United winning the treble. It was that moment that I fell in love with the game.

8. What could happen in your working day, that would make your year?

Making a real difference to somebody’s life.


9. Finally, can you provide a picture of you involved in your sport, either an action shot, you in your teams kit, at a game supporting your team, you holding a cup or trophy, etc.

IMG_8664 IMG_8665

10. How does Kick London fit in with your personal missional heart? Why Kick London?

I was saved though playing football for Christ central church so I know first had the power of sport, so I just try to show my love for sport and Jesus everyday.

Giant Killings!

What a weekend of FA Cup football action we had just recently!

 

We hear the old cliche’s rolled out about “The oldest football competition in the world” and “The Magic of the Cup”, but the most feared cliche by fans and players of the club’s biggest clubs, is the dreaded “Giant Killing!”

 

Giant Killing’s, for those of you who aren’t as football savvy as you are in other sports, is where a club of smaller stature beats a club of much larger stature. In a competition like the FA Cup, the opportunity of a giant killing is much more prevalent, as amateur clubs sometimes get drawn in ties against Premier League opposition.

 

In the latest round of action, we saw no less than FIVE giant killings! Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the lower reaches of the second tier, beat national giants, Liverpool. Oxford United, from the fourth tier of English football beat Newcastle United, while Millwall, of the third tier beat Premier League opposition in Watford. And these weren’t even the biggest shocks of the weekend!

 

Both Lincoln City and Sutton United, semi-professional clubs from non-league football (that is, non-profession teams, not affiliated to the English Football League) beat Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United respectively, both teams having hugely successful seasons in the Championship, and hoping to be promoted to the Premier League by the end of the season.

 

It cannot be understated what a massive achievement this is for these two minnows. The players of these clubs are likely to be part time players, working secondary jobs alongside playing football. To beat teams of players at the very top level of English football is not an easy feat!

 

Giant Killing’s garnered their name from the famous Bible story, David and Goliath, a story even known by those who have never even picked up a Bible! In short, when the King’s Army refused to take on Goliath (a nine foot tall giant) in battle, the only person brave enough to step up and fight was a young shepherd boy, David. Armed only with a slingshot and stone, and too small to even fit into proper armour, the boy defeated the giant against all the odds! The only thing David professed to have on his side, aside from years of experience protecting his sheep, was God’s presence.

 

In life, we often face circumstances where we feel the odds are stacked against us. It may be health, finance, a dispute at work, a grievance with a neighbour, or any other testing circumstance! And often in those times, we see no way out, no solution.

 

The story of David and Goliath, and the example set by those players of those small football clubs, show us that in trial, we should continue to persevere. In recent times, I have heard the quote “Don’t tell God how big your problem is, tell you problem how big your God is!” I believe this is what David did as he slayed his giant!

 

In life, we will face giant’s. But no giant is insurmountable. Trust God, and be a giant killer!

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