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Unification through soccer

Alice Jones, Henry Jones, Hon Phil Reeves MP, and Nick Golinski with the cheque. Photo courtesy of St Pauls
ST PAUL’S Uniting Soccer Club in Brisbane was awarded a State Government grant in October of over $140 000 to install lights at their home ground.

Club President, David Valentine, said it was the culmination of five years of dreaming and several years of hard work.

The club is an outreach program of Broadwater Road and St Marks Uniting Churches in Brisbane’s south.

The grant will enable the club to host night games at the ground and allow other community groups to also use the field.

St Paul’s Soccer Club Vice President, Tim Jones, said the aim of the club is to leave Sundays free for families to worship.

“We provide an alternative for kids and adults to play soccer other then on a Sunday,” he said.

He said the club was open to anyone who wanted to play regardless of their ability, race, background or belief systems.

“It’s a good way to integrate the various denominations and the community of people who may not have faith or beliefs.”

St Paul’s is one of the foundation clubs of the Queensland Christian Soccer Association (QCSA).

South East Uniting Community congregational minister and President of the QCSA, Rev Peter Smale, said the primary focus has always been on juniors.

“The QCSA’s hope has always been to encourage local churches to engage in using football as a way of reaching children and young people,” he said.

However, not all members are associated or affi liated with a church.

“We don’t make that a stipulation that you have to have a church connection,” he said.

“We encourage congregations who would like to use football as an outreach medium.”

Mr Smale emphasised that Christian soccer is a growing entity and a valuable organisation within the local community.

“Between the QCSA, Sunshine Coast Christian Soccer Association and Baptist Football Queensland there are probably
about 12 000 players.

“The QCSA is the largest of those with 8000 to 10 000 members.

“It’s not insignificant in terms of what we manage.

We try to continue to do that with a really strong Christian philosophy.”

Photo : Alice Jones, Henry Jones, Hon Phil Reeves MP, and Nick Golinski with the cheque. Photo courtesy of St Pauls