|Rusty Hollingsworth, director of athletics at Campbellsville University, holds a child in Costa Rica
on the recent coaches mission trip.
By Chris Megginson, sports information director
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Thirty-two individuals, including 21 coaches and athletic department staff members, traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica, for the Coaches to Costa Rica Mission Trip, July 18-24.
The trip was planned in cooperation with SCORE International. During the week, coaches coordinated clinics sports clinics at universities and private schools in San Jose as well as visiting an orphanage, a home for abused women and going door-to-door to feed the homeless and spread the gospel.
“We are very grateful for a group of dedicated coaches and athletic staff who are committed daily to the transformation of lives through Jesus Christ. To see this many coaches from across so many sports come together for missions is humbling and inspiring to all of us at CU,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, CU president, said.
“These coaches are willing to follow the Great Commission to the ‘ends of the Earth.’ My heartfelt appreciation goes out to each of them and their families for the sacrifice they made to serve others in the name of Christ!”
While mission trips to Costa Rica are not unique to SCORE International, this style of trip was. It was the first time the organization focused not on one sport but assisted in coordinating several different sports clinics during one trip, including soccer, basketball, baseball, football, golf, cheerleading, tennis, track and field, and an athletic training session – all as a way to help share Christ.
|Bryan Milburn, assistant basketball coach, leads a clinic in Costa Rica. (Campbellsville
University Photo by Jordan Alves)
“Sports are something that transcends around the world,” Bryan Milburn, CU men’s basketball assistant coach, said. “These clinics we put on are the vehicles to get into the line off communication with these kids. When we share sports with them first and gain their trust, they are much more receptive when we start to share Christ.”
Beyond sports, the trip opened the eyes of those who went, and motivated them to live out the message printed on the back of their T-shirts: “God first, others second, I am third.” CU Athletic Director Rusty Hollingsworth taught one of the final devotions of the trip and motivated his staff to continue their mission work in Campbellsville.
“I’ve seen things I’ve never seen in my life, and I’ve been to some rough places,” Hollingsworth told his staff. “There are people that are hungry in Campbellsville, and there are women that are abused. I hope that our heart burns for those people, and that they’ll see Jesus in us.”
Jim Hardy, CU assistant athletic director, planned the trip throughout the past year, beginning in May 2013. It is his hope that the trip has strengthened CU’s athletics motto of “More Than A Game.”
“This can impact this athletic department for years to come, and that’s what we’re praying for,” Hardy said. “We’re very excited about the kind of impact this kind of trip can have on these coaches, but more importantly the kids that come into this university and athletics.”
Athletic department staff on the trip included Alex Adams, men’s soccer assistant coach; Vanessa Adkins, cheerleading head coach; Jordan Alves, sports information graduate assistant; Matt Atwood, football assistant coach; Scott Baughman, assistant athletic trainer; Hunter Cantwell, football assistant coach; Kyle Caven, men’s and women’s tennis head coach; Jim Hardy, assistant athletic director; Lorri Hardy, football and baseball secretary; Rusty Hollingsworth, athletic director; Hilary Lakes, cross country and track and field head coach; Kenny Lawson, men’s golf head coach; Randy LeBleu, baseball assistant coach; Bryan Milburn, men’s basketball assistant coach; Derek Port, head athletic trainer; Adam Preston, men’s soccer head coach; Meghan Roth, assistant athletic trainer; Perry Thomas, football head coach; Brent Vernon, women’s golf head coach; Shannon Wathen, softball head coach; and Bryce White, softball assistant coach. Four student-athletes joined their coaches: cheerleaders Kelsee Molen and Alexa Moore and men’s soccer players Roraigh Yearwood and Chris Moyo. Others attending the trip were Frank Gaskins, Sandy Gaskins, Kelly Fathergill, Larry Frisby, Brandon Lakes, Samantha Port and Jamie Vernon.