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Published: Friday, 2/22/2013

Christian athletes’ group to recognize 70 at awards dinner

Tom Cole, BCSN and community development coordinator, will serve as the master of ceremonies at Monday's dinner. Tom Cole, BCSN and community development coordinator, will serve as the master of ceremonies at Monday's dinner.
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Dozens of Toledo-area inner-city student athletes and coaches will be recognized Monday for being on what they believe to be the ultimate winning team — Jesus Christ’s — during the inaugural Fellowship of Christian Athletes Urban Impact Banquet.

The event, which is open to the public, starts at 6:30 p.m. at First Alliance Church Fellowship Hall, 2201 Monroe St.

Those being honored were not selected just for their athletic accomplishments, but for having demonstrated strong Christian morals at school and in their communities, said the Rev. Jenai C. Hicklin, an urban representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“We want to recognize coaches and athletes who have influenced people in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Hicklin, who is also the director of Urban/Inner City & Women’s Ministry of Northwest Ohio. “Student athletes don’t usually receive recognition for being model students.”

The coaches being honored are those who have gone the extra mile to be strong role models for their athletes.

“They’ve taken students home with them and molded them into leaders outside of school,” Pastor Hicklin said. “They’re people who have sewn the seed of Jesus Christ into a kid’s life.”

Fifty male and female student athletes from Toledo Public Schools and 20 area coaches will be recognized. Seven awards will also be presented to community coaches, business leaders, and others who have supported and helped students be Christ-centered, Pastor Hicklin said.

Tom Cole, BCSN host and community development coordinator, will serve as the event’s master of ceremony. Toledo Mayor Mike Bell is the scheduled keynote speaker.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a national organization that was created in 1954, works with coaches and athletes at the professional, college, high school, and junior high levels to use athletics to affect the world for Jesus Christ.

The students and coaches being recognized on Monday participate in regularly scheduled Bible study classes and are encouraged to do community service, Pastor Hicklin said.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, contact Pastor Hicklin at 419-973-7406.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.

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