Soccer player Mallory Beswick, having just completed her freshman year at Hope, sat amongst a crowd of older Hope student-athletes and experienced community leaders at the 2015 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and felt a simultaneous wave of gratitude and nerves. There she was, all of a 19-year-old and a mostly substitute player, being asked by pastoral giant and author Bill Hybels to consider why she loves to do what she does, why she believes like she believes. It seemed daunting to consider but her resulting epiphany spoke volumes, not only about herself but also about the ways the Hope College athletic department seeks to provide its student-athletes with transformative experiences and competitive excellence.
In reflecting on Hybels’s call to dig deep, Beswisk put her pen to paper and wrote:
“I am Mallory Beswick — a strong, passionate, genuine, loving child of God. I am His hands and feet on Earth. Yes, I’m here to play soccer, a game I’ve loved since I was three and a game that has tied my family together. But, I am here for reasons larger than myself. I’m here for others I know that wish so badly they could have this opportunity. I’m here because I’m making memories that will last forever with some of the most humble, passionate, hardworking, servants of God I know. And ultimately, above all else, I am here to glorify God by using the gifts He has blessed me with.”
Looking back now on those words and that experience, Beswick’s sentiments have not changed but she does see with greater clarity the profound opportunity she was given by her Coach Leigh Sears and the entire Hope athletic department to attend the summit. The lessons she learned were brought back to impact her team, yes, but they also enlightened her calling to become a physician’s assistant one day, too. Beswisk sincerely hopes that leadership training can be afforded to other Hope student-athletes for years to come.
“I was honored as a freshman to get to go on a leadership retreat,” she says. “It was a blessing to be surrounded by other Hope athletes from different sports and different levels of experience. We shared stories and were honest with each other about our teams and our faith. The fact the Hope athletes were given the chance to dig deeper with each other, regardless of gender or sport, was amazing.”
By making a gift to the Orange and Blue Fund, you ensure that more Hope student-athletes, eager to be difference makers, Lord lovers, and committed athletes like Mallory Beswick, have future opportunities to reflect and lead, play and compete for transformational experiences. Your gift supports leadership training, culture development, service opportunities and more.
Make your gift today at crowdfunding.hope.edu/athletics.