The Inaugural Global Congress on Sport and Christianity was held in the historic and beautiful city of York, England from August 24-28, 2016. The IGCSC was hosted by York St John University and convened by Dr. Nick Watson. This was truly a ‘global’ event, as there were 178 delegates from 24 different nations. The participants came to engage with 11 keynote lectures, 80 parallel sessions, a panel discussion led by the Bible Society, and 12 three-hour thematic seminars.
During the opening keynote, Dr. Tony Campolo entertained the delegates in his typical energetic and provocative style. This set the stage for future keynotes and has become a hallmark the congress. Inviting all of the all delegates in one room for a common talk and robust large group discussion became a conference favorite across the 10 additional keynotes. This format allowed practitioners and academics to engage with each other, a key aspect of the congress and Sport.Faith.Life. The breakout sessions and thematic strands provide wonderful conversation and collaboration, and produced a number of high-quality publications in the field.
Everyone enjoyed walking the streets of York and eating the local fare. The sport-themed service in the majestic York Minster on Friday night was a delight. After the service, the delegates heard interviews from ex-English Premier League footballer, Linvoy Primus MBE and ex-Paralympian Anne-Wafula Strike MBE. The inaugural congress was a great success. Many thanks to Nick Watson and his shadow helper Andy Parker for convening such a wonderful event!