Melville United have appointed Brendan “Snowy” Dickinson as the club’s first sports chaplain.
Sports Chaplaincy NZ has existed since 2009, supporting people through their triumphs, trials, and tragedies, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack of them) and the service comes at no charge.
Chaplains have been around for centuries in institutions such as the military, hospitals, prisons and the workplace, and Dickinson – a former Melville first team player – is aiming to fulfil a similar role for the club.
Dickinson said his pastoral care offered an independent “listening ear” for club members looking for someone to turn to in dealing with the pressures and demands they face.
“Sometimes these pressures can get to us and hinder us from doing what we would like to for our club,” he said. “That is where I come in. Whether it’s for a prayer, or even just to chat about whatever is going on in your life, that’s entirely up to you.
“My role is as an independent. While I volunteer for, or serve Melville United (its players, officials and members), I am not directly affiliated with the club. This means any discussions I have with you are treated in the strictest of confidence.”
Sports people are ordinary people who share the same hopes, anxieties, fears and life experiences.
“Better people make better athletes. The role of a sports chaplain is to help make better athletes.
“Of course I want to see Melville and its teams do well. However, win lose or draw, as a neutral, my focus is on ‘the person’ and not the performance.”
Dickinson, 41, was a member of the Melville first team squad in 2003 and discovered his faith shortly afterwards.
He has played for numerous lower grade Melville teams over the years, and has even made a couple of appearances this season.
Dickinson served as the on-location chaplain for the U-20 World Cup, the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and Cricket World Cup.
# Sports Chaplain Brendan Dickinson can be contacted at 022 139-6921, at email@example.com or often at the clubrooms on Thursday nights.