ko te manaaki i ngā kaihākinakina | caring for New Zealand's sports community

If you would like to find a Sports Chaplain for your team, then please contact us below.

What is Sports Chaplaincy?

Find a Sports Chaplain

Watch Sports Chaplains at work


What is Sports Chaplaincy?

Sports Chaplaincy NZ has operated since 2009 and became a charitable trust in 2013.

We care for competitive sportspeople at all levels: professional, regional, club and also in high schools.

We support people of sport through their triumphs, trials and tragedies, regardless of their personal religious beliefs.

Our chaplains are externally funded, so they are available without charge.

We identify, train, appoint and guide Sports Chaplains, so we can help find a Sports Chaplain suitable for your organisation.

Services a Sports Chaplain can provide

· Pastoral care

· Crisis management and recovery services

· Grief, loss and bereavement care

· Affirmation and encouragement

· Birth as well as marriage ceremonies

· Mentoring

· Pastoral and spiritual care and support

· Suicide awareness

· Stress management support

· Home and also hospital visitations

· Family care and support

· Marriage and relationship preparation and care

· Life skills support

· Critical incident care

· Career transition

· Referral to other services

We can help you find a Sports Chaplain for your team - picture of sports team in a huddle



Find a Sports Chaplain

If you wish to find a Sports Chaplain urgently for assistance with a crisis, then please contact Phil 022 607 5878, or Rebecca 022 043 3463.

Otherwise please complete this form to find a Sports Chaplain and we will be in touch.



Watch Sports Chaplains at work

In schools: Sports Chaplain Enroy Talamahina at Kelston Boys High School


In professional sport: Sports Chaplain Grant Harris at the NZ Breakers


Richard Clarke, General Manager NZ Breakers 2005-16
Our whole club is based on values, so you’ll see it all over the walls here. It’s about who we are today, how we do things, as well as the legacy we leave in the future. It’s about how are we champions in all of our life, not just the basketball but in community. For us that’s what the Sport Chaplaincy service is about. It’s a natural role within the club and one that really does add value and also has been a huge benefit to the players.

Brian Evans ONZM, Principal Kelston Boys High School 2011-17
The association of a chaplain with our KBHS 1st XV rugby side has had a remarkably positive effect on those students that has extended beyond the team environment. It’s given the coaching staff a way of providing a truly holistic approach in supporting the young men in their journey. Many of the boys took up the opportunity to talk with our chaplain around the wider issues present in their lives. We are looking to extend the chaplain’s role into other teams and sports, and eventually hope to see it as an integral part of daily life within our school community.

Judith Forbes, Principal Bayfield High School
[Our Sports Chaplain] is very focused on student welfare. She is one of those very important members of the school community, since she is kind of everyone’s aunty. Therefore I absolutely recommend [Sports Chaplaincy] to other schools.

Athens Henare, Director of Student Learning Kelston Boys High School
Enroy [Sports Chaplain] is not just there for the boys, he’s also there for the coaching staff; there’s a lot of stress coaching teams. He’s also here for the families; here for the coaches’ families. He’s available 24/7, whereas staff cannot be.

Andrej Lemanis, Head Coach NZ Breakers 2005-13
There are many pieces that go in to the puzzle of creating an environment for success in teams. At the Breakers we believe that creating an environment where people feel loved and supported is important in helping them to be the best that they can be. Having the right Sports Chaplain has helped us in the creation of this environment. A Sports Chaplain can obviously be there for those in the team who have a faith, but the chaplain can offer more than that. By being involved in the environment and forming relationships with players, the Sports Chaplain can help all players at different times. From a coach’s perspective, I lean on Grant [Sports Chaplain] a lot to keep touch with the guys and ensure that they are getting the support they seek.

Martin Snedden CNZM, CEO Rugby World Cup 2011
[Sportspeople] may be stars, but they are human and vulnerable, and frequently in need of having someone in their life who they can safely turn to for help dealing with the pressures and demands. Within this context, Sports Chaplains provide invaluable, highly effective, ‘under the radar’ assistance to athletes, teams and sporting organisations. Such was the case during Rugby World Cup 2011 where the outstanding service provided by such chaplains was greatly appreciated by the competing teams and by the event organiser.

Mike Stanley CNZM, President NZ Olympic Committee
Today’s sport leaders – be they managers, coaches, administrators or mentors – have the responsibility to ensure that the lives of participants are enhanced through their involvement in sport and that sport provides for their holistic development and well-being. I’d like to recognise the important work you do that contributes to this process and for the spiritual support you provide with your counsel.

Rashaad Vahed, Director of Football Albany United Football Club
Cliff, our club Chaplain, plays a key role off-field for us in what he provides our members. Our club is centred around development and Cliff brings life skills development, guidance and support. He adds tremendous value to our club to both playing members and coaching/management staff, and even their families, as sport can be a consuming and pressured environment.

Dean Vickerman, Head Coach NZ Breakers 2013-16
I think people might be skeptical of having a chaplain because they don’t understand what it really is, you know, is it a religious push, but we’ve found it’s not about that, it’s about making people at ease about the decisions that they make in their life and encouraging them to do the right thing.

Mika Vukona, NZ Breakers power forward, 2003-08, 2010-18
There’s a saying, when your off-court life is good, your on-court performance is great, and to have Grant [Sports Chaplain] there when the chips are down and to have him help you out and know that your life off the court is doing well, then guarantee that everything on court’s going to go well as well.

Dame Therese Walsh DNZM, NZ CEO 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Sports Chaplaincy provides a non-judgmental and supportive service to athletes and their support crew of any faith origin. It is an important part of running a major international event such as the Cricket World Cup to ensure all participants are well cared for and supported. Sports Chaplaincy provided this valuable service for us as the Event  Organisers and we are very grateful for their support.

Natalie Wiegersma, Olympic medley swimmer
Although I didn’t perform so well [at the London Olympics], there was no judgement from her [Sports Chaplain].  She was just supportive of me and really helped me through the whole process of trying to work out what had just happened. So much preparation had gone in to this moment and I failed to perform, but she was there, she prayed with me and really helped me through it all.

Nick Willis MNZM, Olympic 1500m silver medalist
The integrity and sincerity I observed in Ross [Sports Chaplain], made it very comfortable for me to share my anxieties and stresses in the final days leading into the IAAF World Cup, in Athens, Greece. Having Ross at the Olympic Games, to help mentor and support myself and other athletes [was] incredibly beneficial.