Fellowship of Christian Athletes seeks members | NevadaAppeal.com

Fellowship of Christian Athletes seeks members

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Booster Club liaison James Parker stands in the group's worship hall on Thursday. Chad Lundquist Nevada Appeal

For many years, youth have looked upon professional athletes as role models.

These athletes’ relationships with their family and teammates are viewed and judged by millions of people, the most so by youths.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has challenged coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school and junior high school levels since 1954 to use athletics to advance Christianity.

FCA is the largest Christian sports organization in America. It focuses on serving communities by empowering and encouraging young people to make a difference for Christ.

In Carson City, a FCA booster club was formed about a year ago. Club president is Zane Cole; the liaison is James Parker.

“Within Carson High School, we have about 10 kids active in the ‘huddle,'” Parker said. “It’s difficult to get more kids involved mostly because of the block scheduling.

“We are building slowly, but I would rather have it that way. It makes for a stronger foundation.”

Activities at the school and meetings are student led. They post information at the school about club meetings, but Parker said they are still educating the students as to their right to do so.

“This is the year of education for the kids,” Parker said. “We need to let them know they do have the right to post their club information.

“You can’t tell me that with a school of 2,700 students having a strong Christian presence is a bad thing. The students join by choice.”

FCA helps build character and instills respect, honesty and sportsmanship. Parker said what student athletes learn from FCA helps them be better adults and maintain a solid relationship with Christ.

“It’s better to lose with honesty and dignity than win by cheating,” Parker said.

The framework of FCA begins with student athletes. There are huddle leaders, which are students; huddle coaches from the school; a student adviser (from the school), booster club president and the coordinator, or liaison.

Carson High School varsity football coach Shane Quilling is one huddle coach, student adviser is MaryAnne Weaver, and student huddle leader is Alex Craig.

Student athletes can request guest speakers, many of whom are well-known athletes. They then talk with their huddle coach, who brings the request to the booster club president, who in turn submits an application to the organization.

The club is notified of availability and cost to sponsor the speaker. The students must then raise the funds to pay for the athlete’s appearance.

“The professional athlete reinforces in the kids what they are learning on their own,” Parker said.

There is no cost to the student to join. The commitment is one hour a month and usually accomplished by attending the monthly meeting.

“We do ask for donations at each meeting to keep the club functioning,” Parker added.

“We welcome family members to attend and encourage the parents to be involved.”

To learn more about the FCA, go to http://www.fca.org or call Parker at jfparker@teamfca.com or 230-5885 or Cole at 450-6047.

n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.