LAKELAND, Fla. — Student athletes from Southeastern University in Lakeland recently conducted a sports clinic for the kids on the Lakeland campus of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes. The event, held on a warm Sunday afternoon in February, was designed to provide basic instruction on certain sports as well as guidance from God’s word on discovering and using the unique gifts God has given to us.
Lauren Gutierrez a sophomore at Southeastern and the Christian community service chair for Southeastern student athletes said that they are trying to focus more on things they can do in their own community. “We often go out to places that are far away in order to help others, but in the process we often overlook ministry opportunities right here in our own community,” Gutierrez said. Gutierrez is originally from Miami and plays soccer for Southeastern.
Dennis Harper, assistant supervisor for the emergency shelter on the Lakeland campus said the sports clinic was a great opportunity for their kids and looks forward to future opportunities with Southeastern student athletes. “Duane Aagaard, Southeastern’s athletic director originally came to me looking for some ideas on what some of their student athletes might be able to do to help minister to our kids and this event came out of those discussions. We have even talked about doing an event like this twice a year,” Harper said.
“This was a great enrichment activity for our kids. They started the clinic by opening with prayer and then leading our kids in worship songs and then some of the students gave testimonies on how God has worked in their life. Some of the students then did a skit called ‘Toolbox’ to illustrate how God provides each of us our own unique gifts, and that we are all part of the body of Christ,” Harper said.
The kids were able to attend a sports clinic of their choice. They could choose among baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, or cheerleading. While the kids were in their sports clinics they were able to spend time with the students, ask questions, and learn more about the sport of their interest.