Grace Kim (USC, Class of 2020)
The first time I went to Fall Sports Festival was last year, when I was a junior. I signed up for rides fully intending to go just to cheer on my brothers and sisters in KCM, completely fine with not participating in any of the athletics. But the night before FSF I was contacted by someone in Core urging me to play volleyball in the B team due to a last-minute need for another female player. To be honest, I immediately begged if anyone except me could do it since I had not gone to a single volleyball practice and wasn’t sure if I even knew how to hit the ball if it came to me. But alas, I was told there was no other person, so I accepted my fate.
The day of FSF, I was feeling groggy and nervous. But as soon as the day started off with the various campus cheers, my excitement grew. There is something so unique and fun about seeing brothers and sisters from other campuses in community with one another. Even as I forgot much of our campus cheer, I was fueled by the energy around me as other schools supported cheered each other on.
When volleyball came around, I had no expectations so I just went for it. I missed many balls that came towards me, and I was kind of confused on how the game of volleyball worked. But I had the time of my life seeing those in my ministry laughing with me and cheering from the sides. Through the rounds of games I played in, I was able to get closer to those on my team, people who I didn’t talk to much before but who affirmed me and helped me with the utmost love and kindness. Even though B team lost all of our games, we had so much fun fellowshipping throughout.
After a full day of playing sports, cheering on USC and other campuses, and watching my friends have fun in the various events (tug of war, dodgeball, volleyball), I felt a sense of unity within my own campus’s KCM and with all of the other KCMs. I was able to feel the warm sense of Christ-centered love throughout our friendly competition. And I was able to bond with others who I did not know well before through the universal language of sports. Best of all, I saw those who were not previously active in KCM become plugged into the ministry and consequently into local churches after participating in FSF. To several people, FSF was their first taste of KCM, and for some it was their first taste of Christ-centered community.