Spartanburg – April 16, 2014 - Upward Sports is excited to announce that they are rolling all of their Play With Purpose events – originally scheduled for five different cities across the country– into the schedule for RecSpo ’14, as part of an enhanced partnership between the world’s largest youth sports provider and the recreation & sports ministry conference that will be held September 17-19 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
One of RecSpo ‘14’s seven content tracks will be an Upward Sports track, which will feature all of the curriculum that would have been available at the individual Play With Purpose events. Upward Sports partners in attendance at RecSpo ’14 will have the unique opportunity to take classes both inside and outside of the Upward Sports track, opening the door for broader, more comprehensive exposure to recreation and sports ministry offerings.
The combined event, which is scheduled to include over 40 classes and more than 40 vendors, will serve to better leverage the relationship between the two organizations, maximizing the effectiveness and potential of both.
RecSpo ’14, the premiere recreation & sports ministry conference, has two primary objectives: raising up the next generation of recreation and sports ministry leaders, and using recreation and sports as intentional and effective ministry.
“We believe that rolling the Play With Purpose events into RecSpo ’14 provides an amazing opportunity for our church partners to experience the full benefit of recreation and sports ministry,” said Shane McKenzie, vice president of Upward Sports’ Recreation Division. “The things that RecSpo ‘14 will offer go way beyond basic sports programming, and will be extremely valuable to all attendees. Whether you’re a recreation pastor, a sports coach, or a student exploring this type of ministry, this is the conference for you.”
RecSpo ‘14’s theme is “Get In,” with the vision that everyone who attends will Get Inspired, Get Informed, and Get Intentional.
Headlining the list of speakers for the conference is former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, who holds the NCAA record most career wins at the Division I level.
Joining Bowden as speakers will be:
- Muhsin Muhammad, former NFL wide receiver; 2-time Pro Bowler
- Mark Price, former NBA player; 4-time All-Star; current Charlotte Bobcats assistant coach
- Landon Powell, former MLB catcher
- Mark Householder, president of Athletes In Action
- Caz McCaslin, president of Upward Sports
- Dr. Michael Catt, author; producer; pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church (GA)
- Dr. Mark Fuller, pastor of Grove City Church of the Nazarene (OH)
RecSpo ’14 will include classes on such topics as sports ministry, health & fitness, social networking & marketing, and facility management. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in various activities, including golf, hiking, mountain biking, zip lining, and a movie night over the course of the conference.
In addition to Upward Sports, RecSpo ‘14’s primary sponsors include Athletes In Action, the sports-focused branch of the international ministry Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ); and the National Sports & Recreation Ministry Center (NSRMC), which seeks to empower sports ministry personnel around the world with resources, training, and networking.
Dr. Bill Buchanan, Coordinator of the NSRMC, called RecSpo ’14 “a cutting-edge conference for anyone involved in recreation or sports ministry.”
About Upward Sports
Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Upward Sports is the only organization that offers the 360 Progression, a uniquely designed sports experience that adapts and expands as players grow in their personal athletic journeys. The 360 Progression is the development of total athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially.
Today, approximately half a million players at more than 2,000 churches in 47 states participate in camps, clinics, and leagues through Upward Sports’ Recreation Division.
In 2012, Upward Sports created its Performance Division – Upward Stars – aimed at young athletes wanting to further develop their skills and participate in a higher level of competition. Within the first year, approximately 900 athletes competed on these Upward Stars club and travel teams.