iBrand Sports has been a sponsor of the Richmond Chapter of US Lacrosse for several years and we are continually impressed with what the organization has done for youth lacrosse in Central Virginia. Recently a youth lacrosse coach made the trip to Uganda and our jerseys were part of a very cool story about growing the game. Special thank you to Claire Chadwick for sharing the story with us.
The brains behind the trip was Anna Bowers, my college roommate and teammate at Christopher Newport University. She has previously been to South Africa for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) internship and was praying/dreaming of bringing a group of lacrosse players to run an FCA lacrosse camp in Uganda.
God was already working when we arrived at Dulles International Airport. We had several huge bags of donated lacrosse gear and extra bags were $200. We showed the airline manager the bags and explained why we were bringing them to Africa, and he allowed us to take them for free!
The camp was held in Kampala, Uganda. The overall goal of the trip was FCA’s mission statement: to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. We worked towards this goal in different areas throughout the day. In the morning, we did 3D coaching, which stands for 3Dimensional coaching. Attendees included Ugandan coaches, high school players (who also coach the younger kids), and pastors. 3D coaching analyzes/teaches coaching through 1) fundamentals (the body – physicality) 2) psychology (body/mind – dualism) and 3) the heart (body/mind/spirit – holism). This was a truly fruitful time where the group learned how to coach to all three dimensions in order to love those around us to the best of our ability.
Then, after lunch, we had CAMP! The campers ranged from ages 2 to 18. To say the least, we were amazed by their talent. Although many of the guys and girls don’t even have their own sticks, they work very hard and share all the gear they do have. They were ecstatic to see that we brought hundreds of donated lacrosse sticks, pinnies, balls, and other gear from the U.S. We did lots of lacrosse drills and scrimmaged, and also got to have huddles with the kids. In the huddles, we would discuss what we learned from the previous day’s message (each day ended with snack and a sermon). The questions my 16ish year-old girls asked me about God and life were so deep and profound. One of the kids even asked Anna, “Who made God?” We got to pray together and encourage one another. I got to witness many campers accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, a moment that I will always remember.
To conclude, thank you so much to iBrand Sports for your generosity and kindness. Your contribution of lacrosse pinnies allowed us to actually scrimmage/play games and the kids LOVED wearing them. The athletes got to play lacrosse, feel loved, be fed (they loved mango juice and a flatbread called chapati), and most importantly, accept Christ. Thank you so much!