Just weeks into his new role, we take the opportunity to put our new signing, Graduate Team Leader Mr Sam Adie under the spotlight! Read on to learn about Sam’s route through to work with Spirit in Sport, fresh out of university, as he prepares for an exciting and challenging season ahead!

Corinthians are going to win the league this season. Discuss.

Haha, with 15 out of a possible 18 points so far things are looking good! We’re gelling well as a unit and with Gareth, Numan, Robin, myself (oh, and that solid defender Andy) we seem to have a lot of bases covered on the pitch! 

Although with that said, if last weeks’ games are anything to go by it could be a very tight title race between all 4 teams which will be exciting to be a part of.

Who is a sporting hero of yours?

This is an easy one. Kaka. When I was growing up he was one of the best footballers in the world; his move to Real Madrid slightly tampered his ability to shine but nonetheless at both AC Milan and Real he cemented himself amongst the footballing greats of history. 

Being a midfielder myself I was always inspired by his mix of tenacity, flair, and creativeness on the pitch. Even if I do very little to emulate it myself!!

Besides his sporting talent what I’ve always loved most is his example to the footballing world of unashamedly walking in faith with Jesus Christ. 

Kaka dedicating Champions League Final victory to Jesus

What about a non-sporting hero?

Well that would be Jesus. Without wanting to overstate, I am in awe at both the historical evidence of what he did, and the evidence of him still transforming people’s lives today. There’s so much to go into depth with regarding this man from Nazareth that are beyond the scope of this interview, and understandably people have a lot of questions; but it will always be something I love discussing with people (who both believe in Jesus and do not) because I believe the evidence shows that what Jesus did around 2,000 years ago is true, and from there I believe that Jesus came so that we may ‘have life, and have it to the full’; something I want for all my friends, and all people can have. 

What is your best personal sporting memory (whether spectating or taking part)?

Check-a-trade Trophy Final 2019. It may not sound the most glamorous occasion, but with a capacity of more people than at the Super Bowl that year, Pompey and Sunderland put on a real show. It was my first time at Wembley, I went up with my brother and one of my best mates, was a sell-out crowd, and the game produced a rollercoaster of emotions with my boyhood club claiming the win on penalties. Unforgettable.

What is your earliest memory of Spirit in Sport?

I’m not just saying this but I remember loving the sports camps as a boy; especially doing the football with Coach Jon. We have a slightly different relationship now with Jon being on a different team to me in our Monday Night Football league and putting in crunching tackles on each other; but I consider myself very fortunate to have been going to the sport camps since I was 6 or 7 and being a part of this community.

You have 29 seconds to travel up the Spinnaker Tower lift. What can you tell your fellow passengers in that time about Spirit in Sport and your role with us?

That’s a very specific timescale haha. Well Spirit in Sport is a Christian charity based in Portsmouth who aim to reach the community through sport for Christ. From working in schools, to running holiday sports camps, to running community sports groups, to running weekly sports leagues, to partnering with churches for one-off events, to running sports sessions tailored for the elderly, to offering Sports Leaders qualifications for the next generation of coaches, at Spirit in Sport we have a real heart for building genuine community and sharing the hope we have found in Christ. As for my role, I’ve come on board as a full-time Graduate Team Leader so I oversee and plan all the work we do and ensure that SiS is on track in delivering its mission to ‘Reach the Community through Sport for Christ’!

Sam at one of our church resourcing events in Bishops Waltham

You have just graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Warwick University. Was working with Spirit in Sport the obvious next step?

Good question. It certainly isn’t a typical job choice amongst my peers now flying high at investment banks in London! At school I found myself to be a bit of an all-rounder so the PPE degree seemed to suit me nicely. However, during my time at uni the things I enjoyed the most was being involved in the football teams (shoutout to PPE FC and UWMFC), and also the philosophy side of the degree and how this linked to the history of religions around the world. 

I was also stretched out of my comfort zone and forced to evaluate my faith, my beliefs, and explore whether I truly believed that Jesus Christ died for my sins 2,000 years ago, rose again, and invites me into relationship with him today. Upon doing this, and having been involved with SiS as a delegate at the camps, then a trainee coach, when Coach Chris offered me the role it felt completely right for me; someone who loves sport, and even more than that seeks to love Jesus.

How has your time growing up with Spirit in Sport helped get you here?

As I touched on earlier I feel incredibly fortunate to have been involved with SiS from a young age! From being a sports camp coach to playing in the Monday Night Football leagues I’ve had the opportunity to gain a real insight into what SiS does, how it operates, and what it stands for and seeks to do. It’s also helped me develop my relationship with Chris our Team Leader, Andy our Office Manager, the trustees, and our wonderful volunteers who have all been so welcoming to me as I start this new venture.

Coach Sam taking cricket drills with our Home Ed Sports group!

Over the next year, what is something you are most excited about and what do you think will be one challenge for you? 

I’m very excited about us being able to train up new leaders by helping them work towards their Community Sports Leaders Award to which Sport England have given us accreditation to award.

In particular, I’m excited to see how these young people (many of whom have also been delegates at our camps) develop and grow into positions of leadership, discovering and unleashing the gifts God has given them. I’ll turn this excitement about Community Sports Leaders into what will also be a challenge for us. It’s something we’ve never done before so there will be some learning curves as we encounter this new chapter for SiS.

Can you encourage us with a Bible verse that relates to your life right now?

Absolutely. The last couple of years have been a real rollercoaster for me personally; with some of the best things to happen to me simultaneously acting alongside some of my toughest times. With that, I believe God is a constant through it all, and last week I was asked to speak at High Tide West over in Fareham on this verse, one that was very apt for me at the moment:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.’    (Isaiah 43:18-20)


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