Our Christian Voices programme continues with Nick Watson. Nick is a senior lecturer in sport, culture and religion at York St John University in York.
Nick was the Co-Founding director of the ‘centre for the study of sport and spirituality’, and is co-director for centre for sport, spirituality and religion at the University of Gloucestershire. Nick has been published extensively in theological and sports science journals and is the co-author/editor of 7 books. To get to know more about him we asked him a few questions.
Q: Hello Nick, what have you been doing over the last 6 months?
A: I have been researching the links between Sport, Theology and Dementia, in particular the potential theological dimension of the work of the wonderful organisation, Sporting Memories Network. With regard to personal/family life, I am being taught the fruits of the spirit (!) by my two young beautiful daughters and I am trying to juggle a busy job, part-time Church leadership and family life. It’s working to-date, as a few years ago I learned to say ‘no’ to people.
Q: What difference has Christian faith made in your life?
A: It was a “game-changer”—sorry for the sporting metaphor! I was far from the Father’s house until I was captured by His Amazing Grace (my favourite hymn) in a small room on the outskirts of Beijing, China.
Q: If you could go for dinner with one famous person dead or alive today, who would it be and why?
A: Of course I should say Jesus but that is too obvious! I would go to dinner with two people; my biological mother that I have never met and who died when I was three years old (I am adopted) and Oswald Chambers who could mentor me to be closer to Jesus; his revelation about the human heart is disturbingly penetrating!
Q: What was the first thing that made you passionate about your topic?
A: I have always played sport from 4 years old and coached football for around 10 years and later in life I came to know and love God. So, I love both God and sport! The fact that the sport-faith thing is a part of my job is indeed, a gift and grace.
Q: In ten words or less, what can people expect from your talk?
A: To be challenged by thinking about disability sport from a Christian worldview (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10).
You can hear Nick speak on the subject of: Theology, Ability and the Para-Olympics at 7:30pm on Wednesday 22 March at Ecclesall All Saints’ Church.