Two things played a major role in my life, Sports and Music. At home, it was all music and at school it was sports, sports, sports.
I grew up in the highly populated, crazy cultured country of Bangladesh where all they play is Cricket and Soccer.
But since I studied in an international school, I was exposed to many other sports such as American Football, Basketball, Field Hockey, Volleyball and the list goes on. It was my dads goal to teach my brother and I all the sports that he knew, and there was always an unspoken competition between us boys. I always aimed to be the best on any team I joined at school.
In high school I was still very much into all sports and tried to make it onto any team I could. My Junior year of high school I moved to a new school, so I had to rebuild my sports reputation and there were people who were better than me in the positions that I played for every sport. This is when my competitive side kicked into high gear!I was determined to outplay and outsmart the others on the team so that I could take over and be the first choice in that position, and I actually achieved that in most sports I played.
After being at this new school for just a year, my senior year I was chosen to be the School Sports Captain for one of the 2 teams that we had. This was more than just playing sports. I and 3 other co-captains had to organise all the intramural sporting events, sports days, swimming galas etc. This enabled me to gain an understanding of and experience a lot of the behind the scenes to sports that I hadn't seen before. Not only did I get to play the sports I loved, but I also learned how to manage the logistics behind it all.
"Sports is a ministry that's more powerful than people think, it's a language that every culture speaks and it brings people together in ways few other things can..."
- Greg Garfalo (MAD DTS 2015-2016)
Its been over 3 years since then, and Sports is still a massive passion of mine! When I was asked to lead this school, it almost felt like a flashback to when I was chosen as the Sports Captain for my school. I was filled with excitement because I knew there was so much more to be discovered about sports and how to use it within ministry opportunities and also everyday life connecting with people. Things just get better when I think about this school, because I know I wont be learning by myself, and with the staff and students that will be a part of the Warriors Team! (Our YWAM Brisbane sports team)
Going back to the opening quote - sports is a language that every country speaks. When you enter a foreign country, hoping to connect with people, it can be a slow and sometimes difficult process due to language barriers, cultural differences or a variety of other things. A quick way "in" is to start a sports match! When there's a group of people playing sports in a park, it usually draws attention and provides opportunity for interaction, conversation and relationship.
I am excited to be in a position where I get to do what I am passionate about and love, while serving the Lord alongside of the staff and students who will be a part of this next Sports DTS. Lives and nations will be changed!
Written By: Nathan Schmidt