Movie Review – Forever Strong

| May 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

by Jonathan Hoard
High school sports are often held up as a tool for teaching life skills to young people.  I have no doubt that to a degree that can be true.  But is it just fair play, sportsmanship and healthy competition that cause a teen to raise his/her standards?  Those qualities are notable, but is that all there is?

Forever Strong uses High School rugby as a backdrop for laying out many of the struggles of youth and shows that there is hope in striving to reach a higher bar.  This film is based on real events surrounding rugby coach Larry Gelwix.  Though the story follows a troubled teen though many bad choices and bad circumstances, the underlying theme of the film is focused on the influence that Gelwix has on the boys he coaches.  Coach Gelwix takes on the task of bringing in a player who has been sent to reformed school.  At first the young man recoils from the discipline and high standards of his new coach, but before long he finds himself striving to live up to the expectations set for him.  The lessons learned carry him through tragedy and rejection.

The transformation was not due to physical training or game strategy but to a loving coach who was not content to watch young men ruin their God-given lives with recklessness and carelessness.  Coach Gelwix is the winningest coach in United States rugby.  However, his strategy of integrity and honor were not meant to produce winning seasons but instead to produce winning young men.  It just so happens that his game plan works on the field as well as off.

In the game of life, many believe that winning is all that matters.  However, a quick glance around at many of the, “so called winners” reveals the dark underbelly of a life without higher purpose.  Recognizing that we have been called to do more than just win can transform our entire outlook.  Change your heart, change your game.

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Category: Sports

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