The local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is continuing a drive to raise funds for the EXCELeration Leadership program.
The goal of EXCELeration is to encourage Christian faith, values and conduct among athletes and coaches in northwest Missouri.
Since its inception in 2005, EXCELeration has expanded from three players on the Northwest Missouri State University football team to include three area high schools and five separate teams at Northwest, including football, women’s track, cross-country, the Bearcat Steppers and the women’s soccer team.
Trevor Nashleanas, head of the area’s FCA program, is also excited about the rapid growth of the leadership program, and the ministry opportunities it presents.
“Our focus at this point in FCA ministry is to train coaches to coach beyond the scoreboard,” Nashleanas said. “We are teaching the character, leadership and significance that comes not by what they do, but by what God made them to be and by what Jesus has done for them.”
The leadership program also trains student-athletes to positively impact their teams for Jesus.
At Northwest, the pre-game EXCELeration meetings have seen upwards of 60 athletes, and 50 during the post-practice meetings, and that’s just on the football team.
Some added benefits, Nashleanas said, is that the program builds team unity, develops good character and grows leaders.
The Leadership training program began in September 2012 and averages 47 student-athletes on up to 10 separate teams at meetings.
EXCELeration holds a camp during the summer, featuring Christian athlete speakers from various sports.
Athletes from several area schools attend the camp, and many attend the leadership conference, with the next scheduled for January 2013.
The fundraising drive is being held to help offset the costs of lodging, food, training, resources, facilities and guest speakers.
EXCELeration needs about $10,000 to continue their ministry goals. That may sound like a big number, but if just 400 people gave $25 each, it would become a reality.
Anyone wishing to help with a donation can give online securely by visiting www.nwmofca.org/donate. Checks can also be mailed to NWMO FCA, P. O. Box 8966, St. Joseph, Mo., 64508.