BRAWLEY — With students out for summer vacation, the Gateway Church of Brawley, hosting the Fellowship of Christ Athletics (FCA) Wrestling Clinic on June 20–21, brought together children to learn the fundamentals of wrestling and other tools that will help them better their athletic careers.
The FCA is a Christian group whose mission is reaching the nation’s youth by combining athletics and faith. Since 1954, FCA has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high, and youth levels to use the powerful platform of sports to reach every coach and every athlete with the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
The camp was split into two different sessions each day. The morning session started at 8 a.m. and ended at noon. For the morning session, students ranged from first graders to seventh graders.
To help reach the goal of the FCA, the two coaches for the clinic were Jose Campo and Tony Gomez. Campo is currently the director of FCA Wrestling in California and is the chaplain for the Fresno State Wrestling Team, as well as the USA National Freestyle team. Not only is he the director of FCA Wrestling, but was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and named National Wrestling Coach of the Year. Gomez, the secondary coach, shared his knowledge of wrestling as well as the life choices he’s made that allowed him to pick back up his wrestling career.
Gomez said a tragic accident nearly paralyzed him, but through training and perseverance, he built his strength up, recovered from his broken back, and gained the strength to start wrestling again.
“When I was younger, I had made choices that did not reflect the faith in Christ that I have now. I want to teach these young athletes not fall into actions that will not only affect their career in sports but also their spiritual life as well,” said Gomez.
When the training came to an end and the students had learned techniques to use next time they wrestled on the mats, Campo sat the students around him to deliver a message; the message of not getting distracted by the wrong things in life.
“When you are young, you think the actions you take are not important, but the truth is they are. In our world today, there are many distractions, and if you want to succeed in this sport you need to devote your time to practices like a person of faith devotes their time to serving Christ,” said Campo.
The students left with new information on wrestling and how Christ can impact the lives of those who believe in him.