Building connections and sharing a message of encouragement and hope through sport

Our SLAM (Sports Lights a Message) volunteers play competition soccer and basketball with inmates on a regular basis. Each team trains regularly and often drive for several hours to play inside the prisons. SLAM provides opportunities to build connections with prisoners and share a message of encouragement and hope through fun, sporting competition.

Mark* came to the prison gym ready to play. We could tell this wasn’t his first game of basketball! Skillful, quick on his feet, an excellent passing game and a jump shot that had been practised thousands of times. He and his fellow inmates provided tough opposition for Prison Fellowship’s SLAM team. Following the game, we gave out the best and fairest medal for the match. Mark was the clear winner.

After the presentation I got chatting with Mark. He talked about the mistakes he had made in life and some of his regrets, but he also spoke about his childhood and playing junior basketball. As our time came to an end Mark turned to our group and said, “Thank you. For an hour today I wasn’t in prison – I was just a basketballer back out on the court.”

If you would like to take join a SLAM team, contact your state office.