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Using Sports to Reach Youth

ve8QAd   |   July 13, 1998

Editor’s note: The primary goal of this publication is to assist those in the daily battle to protect innocent human life. That is why the Connector is sent, free of charge, to over 10,000 pro-life leaders and educators. This goal is realized by sharing new and effective tools and ideas with the pro-life movement. The following article is about an organization that we believe holds great potential toward helping pro-lifers achieve our life-protecting goals.

Life Athletes is an organization with three primary goals: respect for the lives of the unborn and elderly, sexual abstinence until marriage and virtue in the way we live our lives. As its title suggests, the group uses professional and Olympic athletes to further their cause. And the list is impressive. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, Green Bay Packers Reggie White and gold medal Olympiad Amanda Borden are just three of the many high-profile athletes out front in their support of this effort.

Others include: Mark Brunell — quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dan Jansen — gold medallist Olympic skater, Ned Jarrett — 2-time NASCAR champion,

Rebecca Lobo — center with NY Liberty women’s professional basketball, Joe Mullen — professional hockey player with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Herschel Walker — running back with the Dallas Cowboys. >From auto racing to golf, these athletes have united in a common goal to help America’s youth avoid the pitfalls that result from today’s promiscuous lifestyles.

Life Athletes president, Chris Godfrey, played professional football for nine years. He was a starting right guard of Super Bowl XXI champion New York Giants.

Now a member of the Indiana Bar, this father of five heads an organization that makes a profound impact on this nation’s youth. Hundreds of thousands of high school and college students look up to and admire professional and Olympic athletes. Life Athletes gives them the opportunity to have role models that contrast the antics and values of someone like Dennis Rodman.

One of the programs that brings together pro-life athletes and youth are the sports camps, one-day events often held in NFL cities around the nation. Football players constitute a majority of the athletic representation, so the camps are often held in the local NFL stadium. However, other sports such as baseball and swimming are well represented. Camps have already been held in major cities like Tampa, New York, Boston and Dallas. During these camps, impressionable youth can talk one-on-one with role models who will provide them with the basics in sports while encouraging them in key areas of their personal lives — time spent together that often leaves a lifetime impression. Check out their website at lifeathletes.org for more information.

Life Athletes also offers speakers for a myriad of events. They have been particularly effective when speaking to youth. Since the athletes enthusiastically support the goals of the organization, bringing a speaker to your area doesn’t have to be a budget buster. Keep in mind that the availability of an athlete is a key factor. It is often difficult to secure a speaker during their playing season. However, Julie Makimaa in the national office will be happy to assist you through the process.

Life Athletes has a new generation of tools to help you share the pro-life message in your local area. They’ve just released an impressive, fast-moving five-minute video starring several of their athletes. It masterfully combines music and images to instill the values of life, abstinence and virtue. A new brochure and wall posters reinforce the message. In addition, they offer a variety of cool clothing and novelty items to help promote the cause.

For more information, contact Life Athletes, 52383 Swanson Dr, South Bend, IN 46635
(574) 237-9000 (Ed. note: contact information updated post-publication.)

 

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