FCA: Fellowship of Christian Athletes Plans to Expand Flagler County Services

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This last week, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Flagler FCA Area Director Danielle Geiger and FCA Metro  Director of Flagler and Volusia County, Chuck Holmquest.  We talked about the what the FCA is, their mission, and how they plan to help Flagler County and expand their services in our area.

When asked what the FCA is exactly, Chuck Holmquest had this to say, “So the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is primarily a campus ministry right now, aimed at coaches and athletes. So the mission statement of the FCA is to lead every coach and every athlete in to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and his church. So that is kind of why we started. Obviously  we meet in the schools, anybody and everybody is welcome, you don’t have to be an athlete, you don’t even have to be a Christian. We would be more than happy to have you, but the idea is to focus on coaches and athletes and wherever that leads us to, we are more than happy to talk with them.”

We asked both Chuck and Danielle how they got involved in the FCA organization. Danielle gave us her story first, “So I actually, I am from up north so when I was in high school the FCA representative in that area came to our church. It was through my high school huddle, that’s basically a club at a school where you are able to talk about your faith in God during school, like any other club that is there, it is designed like a club. So I joined the huddle at my high school and then actually through getting closer to that area representative in Delaware, I interned for the FCA during my college summers. I did a lot then, and kind of always stayed connected to the world, just knew what was going on and stuff. Last year I got reconnected with the FCA in this area and actually I know Chuck’s boss from up north, so long story short, come to this year, God was like oh well I want you to work for FCA now. So, that’s how I got reconnected, and now I am on staff.”  Chuck said, “So I come from a personal training background, my wife and I owned a gym down in Port Orange, we were doing that pretty much full time and I just kind of felt the Lord nudging me away from that and I was stubborn and said no, no, no. So He found a way to get me out of the personal training thing, so now my wife is running the gym and I was just kind of broken down like, what do you need me to do Lord.  Then about a week later I got connected with the friend of a friend who was at the FCA and February 1st last year I hopped on staff and been going since then.”

We wanted to find out more about the type or services or activities that the FCA currently offers in general and in Flagler County; Chuck filled us in on what exactly they do, “So as far as the athletes go, we kind of like Danielle said with her experience in high school, we meet like a club so that these students that are Christians and these coaches and athletes that are Christians have a place to meet with other Christians and have that positive influence, unfortunately in public schools that can be hard to come by. So we provide that, we usually meet during lunches at most schools, we’ll provide food, and we will have some fun with it and make it a good experience for them. Then we also offer camps during summer, we offer different leadership opportunities and character building opportunities we go to certain teams, if the coaches are open to it, we will meet the teams on the field instead of having them come to lunch. That way it’s just a little bit easier for them to get involved. Typically we find that students are way more friendly with their own teammates than they are with other peers. So it’s easier for them to kind of open up and be able to talk about their faith with their team vs. strangers at their school.”

Future services or activities. We wanted to find out what some of the FCA’s future plans were for activities and services in our area, and Danielle filled us in on some of what she is hoping to accomplish in Flagler County. “So definitely expanding the huddles, at all the schools. I am actually connecting with middle schools right now, trying to get huddles in this area, cause we have one at Matanzas High School and one at FPC High School. I have also been talking to Imagine School as well and getting their huddle started in the fall. But within each of those schools we are actually talking to coaches about those team huddles that Chuck was saying. Beyond that, I don’t really have a timeline for this, but with camp season there are also power camps for younger kids. They are day camps that run like a Monday through a Friday, a one week camp, and we get coaches and athletes to come out and put on a sports  camp but then we have breakout sessions where we talk about God and we get to share faith and and just talk about how does God play into our sports and how can we have good sportsmanship and be positive to other people and everything. I never attended a power camp, because I wasn’t a part of FCA that young, but I worked a lot of power camps when I was in Delaware and it was always a great hit, always a great way to, you know, get them young, let them know we have huddles at middle schools, we have camps over the summer, we have huddles in the high schools. I know Flagler doesn’t specifically have a college, but even colleges have huddles and sports teams that have huddles so we are on like every platform.” Chuck went on to explain about FCA Sports and what that is, and how they plan to grow that in our area. “So FCA sports is a new addition of FCA as a whole, it rolled out March 1st last year. So we’ve had a lot of new hires in the area since then. What those new hires have done, is allowed me to put my focus on FCA sports, which is youthletes and club teams. Where we will start, not necessarily at the middle school level like in the past but we will be able to start even younger than that, in elementary school, starting various leagues like flag football, t-ball, basketball, softball. We will do whatever the Lord presents and allows us to do. So that has been my big initiative here over the last couple months. I’ve been trying to get staff for that, sponsors for that, places for us to play, you know, finding leaders to lead, coaches to coach, and players to play.”

We asked about services that the FCA offers that are possibly geared towards homeschool children; Chuck brought up that, “This is where the FCA comes in. Because like youth league won’t be necessarily tied to any school, that will be something that is like an 8-10 week league just like a little league scale. But it will be an FCA sponsored league; each coach will be able to hold a huddle, like a club meeting, where they can deliver a message either before or after practice. We will do the same thing on game day, we will bring in a speaker  and then after the game we will have everybody gather midfield and again deliver a message, food snacks and stuff.”

When asked where they get their inspiration from, Danielle had this to say, “So I grew up in church the majority of my life and it really was through the FCA internship that I did, where my faith became my own. I was given an opportunity to really deep dive and understand my faith for myself and take it on for myself. And being able to turn around and be able to bless the younger kids in a power camp and be a huddle leader there was just a really neat opportunity, and that’s just what I am looking to bring to Flagler County and give to our kids here; the experiences of being top tier in your sport but also being very good at like knowing what your faith is. That also comes with sportsmanship; being able to grow strong in your faith while growing strong in your sport, because there are a lot of conversations about how those go hand in hand. There’s a lot of ways that God has personally taught me, through disappointment, or being on cloud nine, or being really excited or working hard, and that can go hand in hand with endurance and talking about things in faith and stuff. That is kind of what spurs me on, is just wanting to bring that experience from my own life to kids in Flagler County.”  Chuck also shared his inspiration and what spurs him on in this organization, “So I also had a fairly similar upbringing, heavily involved in youth group and in church services through high school. Then I had an opportunity to wrestle in college and took that, and then instead of taking the time to strengthen my relationship with Christ I fell way the other way. Made a lot of mistakes that you commonly see athletes make where the sport that they play is the top of their totem pole and that’s all they focus on instead of focusing on their relationship with Christ because of that you do some things that you know you probably shouldn’t be doing. It just kind of snowballs from there. It wasn’t till after college, that I met some people that I probably should have been hanging out with in college, that is where I started building that kind of relationship. Little bit later start than kind of Danielle had, but I finally got there. Because of that I do kind of know the kind of mistakes that athletes can make when they do overprioritize their sport, back at that point I would have described myself as a wrestler before I would have described myself as a Christian. So this is kind of an opportunity to kind of have an impact on these kids, to know that we are a Christian who plays a sport, you are not a football player who happens to be a Christian. So that is a big reason why I like serving with the FCA. The other thing is seeing these kids step up into these leadership roles and seeing them be comfortable sharing their faith, I was scared to do that in high school and I was in church and youth group every week, and I don’t know that these kids are, so the fact that they are so comfortable with their teammates and this group that we have, the coaches that lead these huddles, is just incredible to see.”

We asked Chuck and Danielle how the community can come together to help the FCA in their mission to impact Flagler County and Danielle had this to say, “So with campus we look for a lot of volunteers on that front, connection to be made, referrals you could say. So at FPC we have one huddle, we have a teacher that’s willing to do one lunch, meaning we have a sponsor for that club at lunch time.  FPC has three lunches and we want to meet at all three to give all the students the opportunity to attend the huddle each week. We need two other teachers identified that are willing to sponsor the huddle. Just continue to keep seeking out coaches that are open to us coming in and doing those message and stuff. Along with that, I have been meeting with a lot of the different pastors and the churches in the area and even business owners, to be able to come together, if a huddle needs lunch, we were doing pizza for Matanzas every week, and last week we did Chik-Fil-a, so lunch needs to be sponsored, or a dinner for football team because we are having chapel Friday night before a football game. That is an easy way to bless a huddle and be able to provide that kind of stuff for them.” Chuck talked about how the community can help bring FCA sports to the area, “So as far as FCA sports will go, if we are going to have a league with 8 teams, we are gonna need kids to play and people to coach. SO the coaches are going to be one of the bigger concerns, it would be easy to assume some of the parents will step up and coach, but that is not always the case, so we are looking for volunteers that would be willing to do that. Kind of like what Danielle touched on, financial partners, that is going to be important because if we start a soccer league we are going to need soccer balls, nets for when we find a field to practice on. Flag football is going to be the same thing, we are going to need balls and flags. Then if any of the local businesses, churches, or if any one has any extra field space, in the city of Flagler Beach or Palm Coast, you know has space that we can play, or facilities that we can use, that is going to be amazing, for rent or donation whatever the case may be.”

If the FCA is an organization that you feel drawn to and would like to help get it off the ground here in our local community, you can find out more about them and their organization by going to this website here: https://www.fca.org/

 

 

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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