History of Sports Chaplaincy UK
The charity was established in 1991 as SCORE, resulting from the pioneering work in sports chaplaincy of John Boyers, under the guidance and direction of leaders of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. Over the next 20 years the charity grew from its initial base in professional football to involve chaplaincy in Horse Racing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Cricket and Athletics.
From the start the charity has been an interdenominational organisation equipping and resourcing individuals (predominantly clergy) from a wide variety of Christian backgrounds to serve the world of sport through chaplaincy. The model used has been that of building relationships from which pastoral and spiritual support can be offered as required.
Over the years the charity has also been involved with the provision of chaplaincy to major sporting events from Olympic & Commonwealth Games to World Championships in Rugby League, Rugby Union, Amateur Boxing, & Athletics. The charity aims to work through and with the organising bodies of sport, a relationship which is exemplified by the provision of funding support from Racing Welfare for a Chaplaincy Director in Horse Racing in 2000 and from a combination of Premier League, Football League Trust & PFA for a Pastoral Support Director in English Football (appointed in 2010). Both these positions are full time.
There have also been other staff appointments from time to time including a full time Coordinator of Chaplaincy in Rugby Union and a part time volunteer Coordinator for Women in Sport. The charity also has volunteers overseeing general chaplaincy development, Northern Ireland & South Wales, and a part time coordinator in football in Scotland. Chaplains find support and training through regional meetings held twice a year across the UK, and the three day annual conference in October, at which input is provided on a wide range of topics relevant to their work.
The charity is governed by Trustees elected at the AGM, and the staff are supported by an Administrator based in the Manchester office together with various other practical helpers.
In 2011 the charity changed its name to Sports Chaplaincy UK, and early in 2012 appointed Richard Gamble to manage and direct its work. Sports Chaplaincy UK now looks forward to a period of further development as it continues to serve the world of sport through excellence in chaplaincy.