For us, being a "Rhino" has a much deeper meaning than just a team mascot. Here's a quick summary explaining "why the rhinos?".
2 facts: Rhinos cannot see beyond 30 feet. Rhinos can run between 30-40mph.
Those 2 facts together make no sense! Could you imagine driving 40 mph in your car and not seeing 30 feet ahead of you?
But what makes the rhino special is that he will NOT run at top speed alone. A pack of rhinos is called a "crash" - because when they get together, they run their hardest, without any concern for what lies ahead. They know that, together, they can run through anything.
What we are trying to do through our BVSA Academies at times seems impossible. Our hope is to lead young men to break generational cycles of abuse, absence, addiction, and false religion. Many of their fathers beat up their wives and kids because they've never seen a man in their life who didn't. In other places, grace, freedom, forgiveness, and hope simply don't exist because people don't know the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The root of these problems run deep.
As we spend the years ahead digging into these communities and attempting to bring life in Christ to their future men, they will need each other in order to stay strong. That's where the rhino concept of running together comes in.
Just like the lead rhino who runs hard, leading the pack, encouraging the others to run harder... these boys will look to their "lead rhinos" to push them. In a BVSA Academy, the leaders and coaches will take on that role of "lead rhino" in the beginning. But our prayer is that leaders - men of God - begin rising up from within. As life's journey moves along, the lead rhino may rotate, as different friends step up and lead while the loyal crash runs hard alongside them.
For us leaders here at BVSA, our "rhino crash" is invaluable. As we abide in God's Word, we encourage one another, challenge, push, and convict one another. Sometimes we have to call each other out. But we love one another deeply! We share life together and we carry one anothers burdens.
Our prayer is that the boys that come through a BVSA Academy will form their own rhino crash - running hard for Christ, growing together in their faith, and leaning on one another as they face whatever challenges lie ahead.