Volume 92, Issue 21

Thursday, October 8, 1998

far out


Mustangs touched by the Argonauts

Justin Klein/Gazette

TOUCHED BY AN ARGO! Andre Kirwan (left) and Byron Capers (right), both of the Toronto Argos, speak of the influence God has had on their careers.

By Justin Klein
Gazette Staff

A number of Western Mustang varsity teams were affected by a couple of Toronto Argonauts on Monday, who visited the Western campus to spread their story of God's influence on their university and professional football careers.

Andre Kirwan and Byron Capers said their goal in coming to Western was to affect at least one person in the crowd, a person who would find God and therefore find the right way.

"It is not about which religion someone follows, but rather that they all believe in their own version of God," explains defensive back Capers. "We just want to reach one person in the audience who came here to see if we could answer their questions."

Mustang defensive lineman Mark Faulkner admitted the speeches weren't for everyone. However, he did say the experience was quite positive for all who attended. "I think it was important because we got to see that even pro athletes have problems in their lives," Faulkner said. "The speeches weren't solely for athletes but provided us a way in which to look at our problems."

When Kirwan, a straight-A student at Stanford, began to have problems in school, he saw that his life was quickly taking a turn for the worse. His ability to perform outside school, more especially on the football field, was severely affected by his classroom struggles. According to Kirwan, he was at the shallowest part of his life.

"When I hit my rock bottom, it seemed like my life was about to shatter in front of me," the wide receiver remembered. "I lost my appetite and I was not performing on the football field. I was in need of help.

"I turned my life over to the Lord and since then I have been lucky enough to perform well in everything I do," Kirwan said. "Especially on the football field."

Steve Kerns, the Athletes in Action representative, who helped organize the event, works often with the Argos and Raptors in offering religious services before and after the game. Kerns believes by offering the athletes the opportunity to open up to God and allowing them to ask questions that they can't find answers to, athletes can perform better in their sports.

"The program offers pre-game chapel on game day," Kerns said. "I am just encouraging the players to speak up and clear their minds."

It was through this kind of work that Kerns was able to discover the spiritual side in Capers and Kirwan.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998