Evangelizing Athletes

FOCUS launches outreach to college athletes


One of the fastest growing college movements in the Catholic Church is continuing its expansion through an outreach to athletes. 

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students - known as FOCUS – will launch Varsity Catholic this fall. Varsity Catholic will begin at the University of Nebraska, working in conjunction with St. Thomas Newman Center, and will serve both Catholic and non-Catholic student-athletes.

“Leaders need to be developed, and most coaches realize this,” said Thomas Wurtz, who is currently in his seventh year with FOCUS. Wurtz will direct Varsity Catholic.

“Varsity Catholic hopes to aid athletic programs in cultivating their athletes’ character, and aiding in their work of developing leaders both on and off the field,” he said.

“Athletes have always been faced with big pressure situations, which can be a heavy burden, especially for a young college-age athlete,” Wurtz said. “These days, big time college programs also bring the heavy burden of fame and status.”
Varsity Catholic hopes to help athletes succeed not only in their sport but also in their day-to-day life.

“Athletics has traditionally been a means of building character and virtue among the youth.  More and more athletes have ridden on their superb talent, and character has slipped down on the list of characteristics that once was at the top,” Wurtz said.  “Varsity Catholic’s goal is to show that character counts.” 

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