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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MARES: To play or to praise, Marquette FCA does both

Photo by Katie Craig
Members of the Marquette Fellowship of Christian Athletes meet during a meeting Sept. 25.

Tim Tebow, Reggie White, David Robinson, A.C. Green, Gabby Douglas, Kurt Warner, Allyson Felix and Stephen Curry are just a few major athlete’s that share the Christian name, crediting their profound success to God.

Since 1954, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, also known as FCA, has been active across all levels of competition from professional to youth sports communities.

One of these communities is alive on Marquette’s campus and its athletics program is thriving because of it.

Regardless of where the athlete competes — the court, field or track — there is a certain level of trust that must be held.

Number one, they must trust themselves. They must have the mental toughness to carry out what is required of them to succeed. Secondly, an athlete must trust their teammates, a sense of togetherness and dependability that is necessary to create not only a team but a family.

And finally, athletes that also put their trust in God may be considered a triple threat. An opponent cannot shake or rattle an athlete whose focus is on eternal glory.

Such wisdom goes beyond any form of competition, grounding athletes in the fact that a sports game is just that: a game. It is an opportunity to praise God using the blessings that He alone gifts each individual.

“We talk about this idea of playing for an audience of one,” men’s lacrosse graduate student attacker and Marquette FCA leader Holden Patterson said. “Of not playing for the satisfaction of others or awards, but instead playing for the one who created us. I think that mentality actually relieves stress and helps one play with more joy.”

Participation in FCA does not make one stronger or faster. Being a Christian does not win games or matches. Instead, it makes one’s heart stronger. It changes perspectives. FCA teaches that the most valuable win is a relationship with God.

Through FCA, Marquette athletes are able to become more compassionate, understanding and service-focused individuals, and Marquette’s chapter attendance continues to grow.

The influence of FCA goes beyond the sport, rather it uses the common foundation of playing a sport to build better people. Specifically, building better people by faith. For Marquette’s chapter, it equips and empowers teams across campus to unite and inspire others through the Gospel.

Amongst Marquette’s 14 varsity teams, a larger bond is created through the connection of FCA. Such a connection allows for open communication, specifically communication around mental health.

College athletes are 2% more likely to experience severe mental illness than their non-athlete counterparts. In addition, data also confirms that these athletes are at a greater risk of substance abuse, social anxiety and eating disorders.

FCA provides a safe space for these athletes to talk together, lean on one another and help each other.

“Everything that we’ve been learning in FCA about the Lord and specific to athletics applies to everything in my life,” Devon Cowan, FCA co-leader said. “I completely believe in the fact that it (faith) is going to have a major impact on my life and hopefully be passed down through multiple generations.”

Athletics is simply another medium in which humans have the option to praise and honor the Lord. Marquette FCA is the foundation of a solid athletic program and as FCA grows and branches out, the betterment of all will follow suit.

This article was written by Ava Mares. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @avamaresMU.

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Katie Craig
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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