Inspire Awards: Tom gets kids on the ball
Tom Rutter from the charity Kick London explains to SHARON BARNARD how he uses sport to connect young people with the gospel ...
Tom Rutter from the charity Kick London explains to SHARON BARNARD how he uses sport to connect young people with the gospel
“Seeing young people come to Christ through the work we do is easily our greatest joy,” says Tom Rutter who is passionate about sharing the gospel through sport.
As Development Officer for Kick London, Tom leads assemblies, teaches and coaches PE lessons, runs after-school clubs and a church-linked football club – and mentors teenage boys.
He also leads a team of sports coaches at the Christian holiday event Spring Harvest, talks to churches and works alongside other Kick London coaches to support their professional development.
Tom has seen the charity’s work make a big difference.
“One lad we worked with lacked self-esteem and confidence. This displayed itself in negative behaviour that had a profound impact on him at school.
“Following regular contact with a Kick London coach, this young man began to develop gifts and abilities that empowered him to change his behaviour and work alongside others.
“Using the skills and disciplines taught through football, he has begun to transform his life and is now studying at college to become a sports coach.”
In the future, Tom would like to see Kick London develop its work with churches to help them engage with their local primary and secondary schools “because that is where our children and young people are on a daily basis”.
He would also like to see the growth of church-linked weekend football academies.
“Sharing the gospel relevantly and explicitly in these academy sessions enables coaches to build on the relationships already established in schools and in the local community.
“Sport is a powerful language that helps form and develop relationships.”
But he is aware there will be challenges along the way.
“Knowing how to strategically grow a local fledgling charity, which has a wider vision for London, requires wisdom,” says Tom.
Tom was nominated for a 2015 Individual Inspire Award by Joe Lowther
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