Athletes come together in fellowship

Parker Willis

When Kellen Cox walked on to Missouri Southern’s campus last year there was no Fellowship of Christian Athletes to be found, and immediately he started taking action to change that.

“My freshmen year we really didn’t know how to get this thing to work,” said Isaac Norman, senior psychology major. “We took a year off to ponder what to do to get more funding and get more people interested. Then Kellen Cox came in as a freshmen and lit up a spark to get it going. So some of us older guys decided to really work and make this legitimate.”

Cox, sophomore, undecided major, said he has had a passion for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for years, being both a Christian and an athlete his whole life.

“The FCA has always been a huge part of my life,” Cox said. “Even my parents and sister are involved. So when I came here and there was no FCA I really wanted to get it going. I know there are a lot of student athletes and other people out there that need God and could use God.”

This year, after having a decent start last spring, the group got together and decided to kick things off the right way. On Tuesday the FCA invited everyone out to its opening event, a barbecue by the sand volleyball courts. Cox said he was very happy with the turnout of more than 80 students.

“A lot of people have come back,” Cox said. “But we had a lot of freshmen show up, as well as a lot of non-athletes. And that’s something we want to get out. It’s not just for athletes or Christians, anyone is welcome.”

As for the big turnout for the first event there could be several reasons why.

“It could be the free food,” Norman said. “But we decided to really go after advertising and spend a little bit more time on flyers and made a Facebook group. It also helps that at the end of practice coach Tatum announced that we were having a meeting.”

But the football team wasn’t the only team that knew about the meeting, the group has a base in leadership that consists of at least one athlete from each sports program.

“Anytime you have that sort of senior leadership it makes it more productive,” Norman said.

Now that the group has started the year with a bang it hopes to act on that every week.

“Even if we only get half of the people that showed up tonight to regularly attend that would be tremendous,” said Aaron Lewis, facilities coordinator for the athletic department and faculty adviser for FCA. “I think what FCA can bring to this campus is a positive influence for a lot of the athletes and students that may not go to church every week. It gives them a positive atmosphere to be around.”

From now on the group plans to meet every Tuesday in Young gymnasium. The meetings will consist of a three week rotation focusing on guest speakers, games, and small group interaction.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Every other meeting this semester will be at 8:30p.m.