This past month, Uncommon Sports Group hosted twenty-one Academy graduates in Phoenix, AZ, for an Impact Weekend! USG offers a fully-funded Impact Weekend for every individual who completes the eight-week virtual USG Academy. These weekends provide Academy graduates with the opportunity to put what they have learned in the virtual Academy into action, such as networking with present leaders of the college and pro sport industry, fellowshipping with other Christians in sports, and being challenged to grow in their walk with Christ. Read a full recap of the Phoenix Impact Weekend here.
One of our participants during the Impact Weekend, Lydia Radmacher, is presently working as a Retail Associate for the Chattanooga Lookouts, which is a Double-A MiLB affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds. Below is her testimony of her experience during the Impact Weekend:
"While attending USG’s Impact Weekend in Phoenix, I was reminded of the importance of Christian community. Though I have a solid church family and an encouraging support system of believers, I have lacked relationships with Christians who share similar passions and goals. It was rejuvenating to spend time with people who are succeeding in the sports industry while staying grounded in their faith. Going forward, I want to be more intentional in fellowshipping with USG members and peers, as well as reciprocating the hospitality we were shown by those who spoke to our group. Jesus has given us a special community with USG, and I want to embrace that!
In regards to professional development, it was helpful to delve into our CliftonStrengths results as a group. I gained a greater understanding of my own strengths and how I can better develop them while also growing in appreciation of the various strengths of others in the group. God has gifted each of us in unique ways, and together, we create a beautiful tapestry of the talents He has given us. As Paul writes in Romans 12:4-5, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (ESV). This has instilled in me new confidence to focus on my strong points while contributing them to the good of my team or coworkers.
A highlight of the weekend was having the opportunity to tour the Footprint Center. As a diehard Phoenix Suns fan, visiting their arena has always been a bucket-list item for me. As we were walking around, I joked that I was like a kid in a candy store, but what a joy to serve a God who delights in what we delight in! Getting to share this experience with fellow USG members made it even more special. Hearing the testimonies of Luke Unverferth and Kyle Gaspari and seeing how God has led them on their paths to the Suns’ organization was an encouragement to remain faithful as a young professional in sports. Even when placed in an environment where it can be difficult to directly share our faith, they serve as a reminder that the light of Christ can always be evident in our actions and how we live our lives.
Though I have faced challenges on my journey in sports and know that there will be more to come, it is so much easier knowing that I have a family at USG ready and more than willing to support me!"
It was so encouraging to see how God used this Impact Weekend to challenge, encourage, and grow the participants in their faith and careers. We are grateful to Lydia for her testimony and commitment to serving Christ through the sport industry.
If you're interested in learning more about Uncommon Sports Group and how we can come alongside you as a Christian in the sport industry, click here to get in contact with us, or click here to apply to join the USG Academy!