News - Jocks & Geeks Travel to Cancun
Jocks & Geeks Travel to Cancun
Led by Head Volleyball Coach Tom Ackerman ’99 and Deloy Cole ’84, director of the digital media program, a team of ten students embarked for Cancun, Mexico, on January 11, 2012, to minister to local athletes through sports clinics.
Four volleyball players and two digital media students participated in the trip, nicknamed the “Jocks & Geeks Trip.” The student athletes brought their skills to the Cancun slums, hosting sports camps and sharing their faith. Digital media students were also involved in the outreach activities, but their role consisted primarily of reporting on the trip – taking photos, updating social media sites, and writing blog entries.
A highlight for many of the trip’s participants was the privilege of building a relationship with their bus driver. Ackerman said, “The students showed him God's love, and he wanted to know more about how they lived their lives because of how amazingly they treated him.” Cole reports that the bus driver made a commitment to Christ as a result.
Ackerman and Cole worked closely with Judy Fox, founder of Ignite International, to plan the trip. This was the first trip that members of the volleyball team and digital media program had taken to Cancun in recent history. Ackerman explains the decision-making that went into selecting the trip’s destination, “Everyone always thinks of Cancun as beautiful beaches and the strip. There is so much more to Cancun, and so much need. We wanted a trip that would be different, and that is exactly what we got.”
In the future, Cole would like to see further collaboration between the digital media program and student mission and outreach trips. He says, “We would like to send a digital media student on every outreach to amplify the message that our students are bringing about God’s love and his mission to save the world.”
Ackerman has taken the volleyball team to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic in the past. The next official team mission trip is planned for 2014. Ackerman says, “We have very high expectations of our team on the court and we expect to win the SLIAC every year, but more importantly than that we want to glorify God in all that we do on and off the court.”