“I’m already loving it. The club is incredibly inclusive, and it clearly values people. And I am not just saying that just because they’ve appointed me. I think that’s already a hallmark of the football club – people matter,” says Nadin.
Bruce Nadin, co-founder of Sports Chaplaincy South Africa (SCZA) and ex Sports Chaplain at the former Ajax Cape Town, now Cape Town Spurs, has recently been appointed as the Sports Chaplain at Stellenbosch FC (SFC).
CEO of SAS (Stellenbosch Academy of Sport) and SFC, Rob Benadie says: “At SFC the care and welfare of our players and staff is paramount. We are therefore delighted to have Bruce join our family. His vast local and international experience as a Sports Chaplain will be valuable in assisting us to build a caring and inclusive club environment.”
Nadin who hails from the United Kingdom (UK), offers pastoral and spiritual care to people of all faiths and none. His journey into Sports Chaplaincy began with ministry, leading a church just outside of his hometown, Leicester City.
Nadin was called to high performance sport when he started volunteering at the English Premier League outfit Leicester City FC. “An opportunity arose for me to be a part time volunteer at the club I had supported since I was a kid. So that was an incredible honour, and I learnt a lot from that experience.
“God then moved me and my wife to South Africa with my youngest daughter and initially it wasn’t to do sports chaplaincy. I started off working for an organisation called Ambassadors Football who used football as a tool to impact our communities at grassroots level. I was also involved with the prison programme we ran,” says Nadin.
Not too long after that, Nadin became involved with footballing academy, Africa Soccer Development (ASD) and was later invited to be the Sports Chaplin at the then Ajax Cape Town in 2014.
“High performance sports ministry was not the initial reason I came to South Africa, but as I look back at my story, it becomes a lot clearer as to why I was brought here,” says Nadin who has recently taken up the post at SFC.
“We’re delighted with the acquisition of Bruce. He brings a wealth of experience to ensure that we take care of the wellbeing of our players. We look forward to Bruce playing a pivotal role in doing that but also supporting our staff,” says SFC Head Coach Steve Barker.
Nadin adds: “My passion really is to help sports people discover that they are more than their sport, it’s to help them discover their full purpose as human beings and ultimately to support them holistically. I am motivated by God’s love and as a Sports Chaplain I am available to care and support people regardless of their world view, whether they share my faith or not is actually irrelevant – people matter and people come first.”
“Stellenbosch FC has a vision that is bigger than just football. It has a vision to create real impact in these communities, to uplift and make a difference in the town. We are seeing all kinds of divisions in our society at the moment. Divisions across economics, divisions across history, divisions across race and ethnicity, and yet the football club (SFC) seems to be very intentional about bridging that division and bringing hope to a community – and I can align with that,” says Nadin.