Basketball court

Mission through sport

The SU Sports Team are passionate about helping you and your church discover just how simple it can be to use sports, games and fitness activities to share the good news of Jesus with the 95!

Speaking a language they can understand

Through our bespoke support, training and resources, we'll help you unpack fun ideas to be able to use – whatever your context – as you journey in faith with the 95% of children and young people who don't go to church,

And when we talk about 'sport', we are not limiting this to conventional, competitive, or even organised sports!

Even the least-sporty person can, with the help of our dedicated SU Sports Team, develop simple, fun games and physical activities through which they can engage the 95, all whilst sharing the good news of Jesus!

Mark - Sports session 2022
Girl playing netball
Sports Training 2023

"How can they hear if no one tells them?"
Romans 10:14

It is such a privilege to work alongside churches and individuals who are ready, and willing, to roll their sleeves up and get out into communities that need to experience the love of Jesus!

We have a responsibility to tell the next generation about Jesus. On a Sunday morning, you're far more likely to find a young person playing sports than attending church, so we know that sport speaks a language that they understand! As we engage with children and young people through sport, and create opportunities for them to Connect, Explore, Respond and Grow, it's important we do so in a way that is relatable and accessible to them!

- Mark Oliver, Sports Mission Team Leader

Meet the SU Sports Team

Headshot - Mark Oliver

Mark Oliver

Sports Mission Team Leader

Based in the North East of England, Mark's heart is to see churches using sport and physical activity to communicate the gospel in an authentic, engaging and relevant way with children and young people, regardless of their backgrounds. Developing training and resources in the area of community sport, Mark has a particular passion for sport being used as a tool for mission in low income neighourhoods.
Headshot - Ruth Anderson - SU Sports Team 2023

Ruth Anderson

Faith and Sports Hub Coordinator

Based in Norwich, Ruth loves to inspire, train and equip people to grow in their skills and confidence, as they deliver grassroots sports and fitness ministry. With a particular focus on fitness, Ruth's role includes developing faith and fitness training and resources as she equips the church to share Jesus with children and young people.
Headshot - Sarah Bowey - SU Sports Team 2023

Sarah Bowey

Sports Mission Pioneer

Based in Durham, Sarah equips and supports churches to develop 'mission through sport' activities for young people, at the heart of their local communities. Sarah loves playing football and sharing her faith with her teammates, which is how she came to faith while playing on her university hockey team! Sarah loves helping young people to unpack the bible and encounter God’s love through sport.
Children - football huddle

Sports Resources

We have loads of incredible resources to help you and your church as you reach out and share the gospel with children and young people through physical activity.

Whether you're looking to run events in your church building, in schools, or out and about in the wide open spaces within your communities, we have resources to suit you! 

And if you're a Faith Guide, make sure that you take a look at the resources available exclusively to you in the Faith Guide Hub including ideas for weekly sessions, holiday clubs and events-based outreach (such as major sports tournaments).

Want to know more about becoming a Faith Guide? Click here

Around 58% of children and young people going to school in the most deprived places in the country do not meet the Chief Medical Officer's guidelines for activity levels.*

Teenage boys football high five

One of the top priorities of the SU Sports Team is to go where the need is greatest and reach those who have little to no chance of hearing the gospel.

With studies* showing that the gap in activity levels between those going to school in the least and most deprived places in England and Wales is widening, we're here to equip the church to be part of the solution.

Having piloted lots of ‘estate-based' sport programmes over the last few years, we're leading the way in supporting churches to step out and reach those young people in economically deprived neighborhoods.

Alongside your local Mission Enabler, the SU Sports Team exists to help you engage with the 95 and reveal Jesus to them, through the use of sport, games and physical activity, particularly in those under-served areas of England and Wales.

*(Data from Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2021/22 by Sport England. Full report available to read here)

We're here to support you

SU Sports Team - Group Shot

Investing in the lives of children and young people through sport is a valuable and impactful way to make a positive difference, not just on them, but also on the entire community.

The SU Sports Team is building on SU's long history of heading out into spaces where children and young people are but the gospel isn't, with a particular focus on sport, games and fitness activities! 

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”* as we seek to serve others and share the love of Jesus.

*(Hebrews 12:1)

If you would like help including sport, games or fitness activities in how you engage with the 95, then fill in your details below and the SU Sports Team will be in touch!

Together we can reach the 95

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Coming soon...

children completing obstacle course

New resources

Brand new 'Bible First' sessions will enable children and young people to step into Bible stories through fun games that unpack the characters and principles in each all whilst revealing God’s great rescue plan for us.

Due to be released 2024
Man coaching children

New Qualifications & Coaching Course

Exclusively for Faith Guides, we're currently piloting our 'Exercise to Music' qualification to equip you to run 'Faith & Fitness' sessions in your communities, as well as our brand new Sport Coaching course which will provide a fantastic opportunity to pursue an accredited qualification as a multi-skills coach!

Want to know more? Fill in the contact form above and our team will be in touch!
Girl bouncing tennis ball

New holiday content

We're currently developing unique sports holiday resources and activity programmes (overnight and non-residential options will be available) that will be easy for you to pick up and incorporate into your own plans!

Want to know more? Fill in the contact form above and our team will be in touch!

Will you support the SU Sports Team?

Your gift today will help support the work of the SU Sports Team as they equip local churches to reach out to children and young people across England and Wales who don't go to church, through the language of sport.

Children playing sport


Children playing table football


Group of young people wearing water sport equipment, standing around a group leader


Latest Sports Stories

Sorted Magazine front cover
During 2023/24 we featured in Sorted - voted the UK’s most wholesome men’s magazine - and were thrilled to be able to share stories of Jesus and sport!
Sarah and children
As featured in the March/April 2024 edn of Sorted Magazine, Mark Oliver and Sarah Bowey share on the topic of challenging behaviour from young people...
Mark - Sports session 2022
Coaching this new generation involves walking alongside young people in the reality of their life, and it’s not always plain sailing...
Holly and Fir Vale Team
As featured in the Sept / October 2023 edn of Sorted, meet Sports Mission Pioneer, Holly Phipps and discover more about her story
Headshot - Mark Oliver
A word from SU Sports Mission Team Leader, Mark Oliver...
Trophy lifted by children

"I have come that they may have life and have it to the full"

John 10:10

Schools Ministry (general) how can we help (full width)
children at school

Supporting you in schools

Schools ministry is all about taking the good news of Jesus into schools and creating opportunities for children and young people to Connect with others, Explore the Bible, Respond to Jesus, and Grow in their faith.

Discover how we can help you and your church as you reach out to children and young people in your local schools. 

CTA Slice - Safeguarding (generic) (full width)
Child and adult in front of a sunset

Creating safe spaces for exploring faith in Jesus

At Scripture Union, keeping children safe is of paramount importance, and the need to provide adequate care for children and young people is at the forefront of any event planning.

Take a look at our Safeguarding Policy and discover resources that you may find useful.

The 95 block

Together, we can reach the 95% of children and young people not in church

Join us