Summer 2024

Christians Working in Sports Conference aims to 'activate and connect' the sports industry

Before the inaugural event was even over, the Uncommon Sports Group announced the Christians Working in Sports Conference would return for a second installment in 2024.

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With hundreds in attendance from across the sports landscape, it was clear that the event filled a major need.

“The heart behind the CWS Conference is to activate and connect the sleeping giant of Christians working throughout college and pro sports,” said Drew Boe, founder of the USG. “In our work at Uncommon Sports Group, we are continuously amazed at the number of Christians working throughout college and pro sports who are mistakenly convinced that they are the only Christian working in this industry.

“Our hope for attendees of the CWS Conference is that they will find community with other followers of Christ throughout the college or pro sports industry. We desire for them to leave CWS connected to others, encouraged that God is at work in this industry, and equipped to live out their faith in their workplace.”

The two-day conference will be held June 21-22 in Minneapolis, and feature a variety of speakers and panelists, including Denver Nuggets assistant coach Ryan Saunders, NFL agent Kelli Masters and Texas Rangers Senior Advisor for Baseball Operations Dayton Moore.

The conference kicks off with a social event on the first day, which will take place this year at the roof deck at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. The conference also includes worship and breakout sessions where attendees are able to connect with others on a deeper level and process conference material as a small group.

One change this year, Boe said, is that attendees will be seated at round tables for many of the sessions to make it easier to connect and debrief between sessions.

“The biggest thing that stood out during last year’s conference was just how connected everyone quickly felt to each other,” Boe said. “It didn’t matter if someone was a speaker, a head coach or an intern. Job titles and team logos were quickly put to the side and relationships were formed as brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Some of the greatest memories from last year are of people praying for each other in between sessions.”

Since 2013 when it was founded, USG has existed to serve as a resource for Christians in the sports industry to help them grow in their faith and navigate the various challenges the profession may bring. Hebrews 10:24-25, which emphasizes community and encouraging one another, has served as a keystone verse for USG’s mission.

This is true of all Christians, but for those working in sports, finding community often requires extra intentionality.

“Sports professionals are often relocating from city to city and working weekend or evening hours that can make it even harder for them to find their tribe,” Boe said. “But having that group of brothers or sisters in Christ who can be there to support you, and for you to invest in is incredibly worth it.”

In addition to growing their faith and deepening connections with others in the profession, the goal of the conference is to equip sports professionals to return to their career and live out their faith.

“If you are in this space, we need to speak up and live out the actual truth,” said Ashton Hopp, a graduate manager on the University of Mississippi women’s basketball team who attended the 2023 conference. “I’m really encouraged and fired up to go back to my workplace.”

“[These are] people who not only love people, but love God first, and out of an overflow of their heart, love people and serve others to the best of their abilities where God has placed them,” said Maggie Davis, an assistant track and field and cross country coach at Black Hills State University. “Truly a humbling, convicting and encouraging weekend with people who exemplify following Christ in all areas of the sport industry.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased on USG’s website. Registration will close once the conference reaches capacity.

Christians Working in Sports Conference aims to equip, encourage sports industry
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