The Values And Benefits Of Sports Chaplaincy In Australia
The Values and Benefits of Sports Chaplaincy in Australia
Australians love sport. Over a span of two centuries, much has been written about how this love affair has shaped the national identity. In Australia’s history, sport has played an important role in the good and the bad times. It is recorded, for example, that Australians played Aussie Rules and cricket on the battlefields of Gallipoli. Australians pride themselves on their reputation to compete on the international stage. Australia is one of only a handful of countries to have participated in every Summer Olympic Games. It has been argued that Australians regard sport as sacred to their way of life, an obsession that contributes to a collective sense of meaning in life, an “essential component that contributes to their story” (Cheong, pp.237-238). In this regard, sport has sometimes been referred to as the Australian religion. At other times, it has been suggested that sport provides an alternative to religion in providing identity, meaning and belonging.
In late 2012 and early 2013, the Christian Research Association, in a jointly funded venture with MCD University of Divinity, and supported by Sports Chaplaincy Australia, undertook a pilot research project
investigating chaplaincy in sport.