Foundations in Sports Outreach: Equipping Catholic Higher Education Students to Provide a Social Contribution through a Sports Outreach Initiative

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Jimmy Smith, Ph.D.

Abstract

This work discusses the effort to begin helping university students fulfill the university mission and core curriculum objectives through the Foundations of Sports Outreach course and the Sports Outreach Initiative at Gonzaga University. Guided by Catholic Social Teaching principles, the primary goal of the course was to provide a social contribution by implementing physical activity programming for youth at a nearby Catholic elementary school. The main objective of this foundational course and the Sports Outreach Initiative was to prepare university students to provide participants of faith communities with resources to aid in building the character of individuals through sports participation. Efforts from these programs provided university students the opportunity to not only expand their academic and practitioner competencies in sports outreach, but also reflect on their growth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually through this special experience.

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