NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont Women's Basketball program is making return to the mission fields with its upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro. The Bruins will travel August 3-12 to the seaside capital of Brazil.
The program last made the trip to South America in 2015, continuing the long Sports Evangelism tradition established by program founder and athletics administrator emeritus Betty Wiseman. Wiseman returns to accompany the team as well as Brentwood Baptist missionary Sharon Fairchild, who also made the trip three years ago.
"Coach Bart (Brooks) asked me soon after he arrived on campus last Spring to take this team back to Rio, having heard and seen the results of the previous trip three years ago," Wiseman said. "There are five players who were a part of the last trip, everyone else is new; including all four coaches and one graduate assistant – a total of 20 in our party."
The group of veterans from the previous trip –senior Ellie Harmeyer (Kenosha, Wisc.), senior Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.), junior Paris Lawson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), junior Maura Muensterman (Evansville, Ind.), and senior Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) – will assist in leading the group focused on sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of Rio.
"Going to Rio three years ago was such an eye-opening and life-changing experience for every single person on the trip," Lawson said. "As one of only five people who have been on the trip before, I am excited to back and make an even bigger impact in the communities and provide some extra experience alongside our veterans and our extraordinary mission trip leaders, Betty Wiseman and Sharon Fairchild.
"I anticipate that my entire team will feel the same way that I felt three years ago and it's truly remarkable that I can be a part of that experience with them."
Even though he was not a Bruin when the last women's basketball group traveled to Rio, head coach Bart Brooks sees the grand potential in the journey.
"This will be an incredible opportunity for our team to come together for something much bigger than basketball," he said. "We are so appreciative that we are able to experience this trip together, it's what makes Belmont such a special place."
How You Can Help
Once again, the women's basketball team has a group of dedicated prayer partners who have been praying for members individually. You can join in a prayer circle covering the group and their travels. There will be a list of daily prayer targets and scriptures for length of the trip on the team's blog.
How You Can Keep up with The Team
Friends of the team and fans of the program can visit the team's official trip blog at http://blogs.belmont.edu/bruinsonmission/trip/rio2018/. It will be updated frequently with photos, videos and blogs from the group. The team will be using the hashtags #itsBRUINtimeRio and #BelmontWBBRio on social media. The group will be sharing on the @BelmontWBB Instagram and Twitter accounts as well.