Living by faith financial support, Nelson Cook who was previously with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Dallas Texas, has been actively engaged in top level sports ministry for almost all of his adult ministry life.
Nelson Cook writes: “I read an article by Zig Ziglar of a story in the early 1900's. A tour guide was giving some underprivileged youngsters a tour of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. There was a magnificent statue which was identified as one of the Greek gods.
“The guide explained that the model for the statue had been an athlete. At that point, Angelo Siciliano, a scrawny Italian youngster who probably qualified as the original "97 pound weakling", exclaimed in astonishment, "You mean there was a man who really looked liked that?"
“The tour guide assured him that yes, there really was. To shorten the story ... Angelo Siciliano stayed gazing at the statute and started to dream that if one man could look like that so could another.
“He gathered information about exercise equipment and wrote to companies which produced the equipment. It was too expensive, but he was enthusiastic and determined and started exercising on his own. He developed a process called "dynamic tension".
“As a result, his body grew and matured; and, eventually he was recognised as having the most perfect body in the world at that time. Some of us old timers by now might have guessed that we're talking about Charles Atlas.
Nelson Cook went on to ask - What's my point?
He pointed to Joe Paterno who wanted his legacy to be that he helped a lot of people and was a good football coach.
Unfortunately for his legacy, he didn't go far enough in most people's opinion in reporting what he'd been told in 1998 regarding his assistant coach (a huge 2012 US story of a high school coach who was convicted of molesting boy athletes).
Nelson Cook makes the point that this legacy of not failing to report what he had been told - has now tainted a career. (In the United States education system there is hardly anyone as trusted and as highly considered than the sport coach).
“Today, kids and parents are asking ... Is there really a coach like that? What do you say? Nelson Cook then pointed to a higher coach, and that coach is Jesus. “As He is, so are we in this world. We are not perfect. But if we're not reflecting Him on a regular basis, then whose image are we showing?
“This is an honest question that we have to answer. Are you and I a coach like that? We can't do it alone ... we need help ... we need each other.”
Nelson Cook has initiated a Coaches' Fellowship whereby coaches who are Christians can support each other and there are many such cell groups functioning.
“That's our passion ...together becoming a coach like HIM,” explained Nelson Cook.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html