Christian Athlete organization coming to Shaler Area


Dominic DiTommaso

This January, Shaler Area High School will be introducing the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to connect student athletes with their faith.

Founded in 1954, the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) is a nationwide organization that guides players and coaches to follow in the faith while playing a sport, while fostering a better connection with their religion.

“FCA focuses on serving local communities around the globe by engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to unite, inspire and change the world through the gospel,” says the Fellowship’s website.

The group will be sponsored by faculty members Mr. Matthew White and Ms. Karen Howell.

“The goal of the FCA club at Shaler Area is to provide a space for any student to commune together by encouraging one another, lifting each other up during difficult seasons, as well as keeping each other accountable,” White said.

White also mentioned how FCA encourages student athletes to conduct “huddles” where athletes on the same team, as well as one large group of athletes, meet together and discuss how their faith plays a role in sports, and how they can support each other through the season.

I expect that as students get involved, they will invite their friends and teammates to join…Students will realize how beneficial this is and will be excited to share the experience.

— Ms. Karen Howell

Ms. Howell hopes that this group will help students apply their faith properly.

“So many students don’t have a picture of how faith actually applies and makes a difference in their day-to-day lives. FCA will enable these students to encourage each other and learn to live out their faith in practical ways,” Howell said.

Student leaders Virginia Lesnett and Jocelyn Schwartz are hoping that students can use this group to comfortably follow their religion.

“There are not a lot of people who have a faith, or if they do they are not very public about it,” Schwartz said. “I think it is important to be a light of God on these teams and to share the gospel with them, FCA will be a great way to accomplish this.”

To become a member, students are encouraged to reach out to get the Google Classroom code to join the class page. Meetings must be attended, the first of which is Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. on a Google Meet. Meetings are scheduled every other Monday evening, and will begin virtually, but they will transition to in-person once it is safe to do so. Meeting discussions will be based on videos made by FCA leaders.

Besides Shaler Area, Quaker Valley and Plum School District are in the process of integrating this organization into their districts as well.

“What I hope to achieve with FCA is to create a safe space for anyone who is looking to learn or strengthen their faith surrounded by others who are facing similar things as them,” Schwartz said.