Inspirational interview with Crawford Alumni: Tom Basson
A charismatic and gifted communicator, known for his enthusiasm, authenticity and humour, Crawford Alumni, Tom Basson is a force of nature. He is passionate about living “healthy and whole” – mind, body and soul, and helping others to do the same.
Have you always known that you want to be a Pastor?
Deep down I’m sure I did, but it took me a little while to get there. After school I went to study a degree in Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of Cape Town.
I’ve always had an interest in sport and the human body. I was a Springbok Gymnast at the time and it seemed to be a fitting career choice.
So, you are an Elite Athlete?
Ha ha, if you say so. Gymnastics is an incredible sport. It taught me a broad base of skills including, discipline, strength, flexibility and courage, all needed and so beneficial for every person later in life.
I think every child should do gymnastics at some point in their life, even if it is just for a few years. Once you get to the ‘elite’ level, the time, commitment and pressure is immense, and certainly not for everyone.
But you are an athlete still today?
Yes, not gymnastics anymore, but I am a successful Obstacle Course Racer, placing second in the world at the 2017 OCR World Championships in Canada. Obstacle Course racing is a relatively new sport but entails a combination of trail running, upper body strength, agility and gymnastics. A typical OCR race is about 15km with about 30 obstacles – varying from walls to monkey-bars to heavy carries.
Congratulations on your achievement. How did you go from Physiotherapy to Masters in Theology?
After my wife and I got married we spent nearly 3 years living and traveling abroad. We spent 18 months backpacking around the world, and during that time we both felt a strong calling to full-time ministry. After we started working for the church in 2007, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Theology, which I achieved from Tabor College, Australia.
What does it mean for you to be a Pastor?
A Pastor is ultimately a servant. Called to love and serve the people around him/her and point them towards a loving God. God has shaped me uniquely.
How I work, how I think and how I communicate is part of that unique design. Most of all I feel called by God to preach the Gospel and build His local church.
Would you say Crawford had a hand in your career journey?
Absolutely. Crawford gave me confidence. They were incredibly supportive of me, both in my academics as well as my sport. In my Grade 11 and Grade 12 years, when I was competing as a Springbok gymnast, I had to train twice a day, and travel quite a bit.
Crawford, being a top private school really helped cater my academics around my training and travelling arrangements, supporting and giving me every opportunity to excel.
So, is that why you brought the next generation to Crawford?
Ha ha, that’s right, my two boys are at Crawford International North Coast. I’m a proud Alumnus. Crawford’s academic excellence gave me a great foundation and I wanted to share that with my children.
What message do you have for your fellow Crawfordians of today?
Be patient. Some things just take time. Also, remember that South Africa is one of the most remarkable countries in the world. We have such diverse and beautiful people in this country, and with all the challenges we have, this provides an amazing opportunity for every single person to truly “make a difference” in the lives of others. I believe this is what truly brings joy and satisfaction into our lives.
If you are not preaching or training, do you have other interests?
Spending time with my incredible family, Jess my wife, and my two boys. Then of course surfing, drinking coffee, and/or climbing trees with my children, who are never naughty. Ever. I also write a blog and additionally to my regular preaching role, I speak widely to other churches, schools, and businesses.
What do you hope the future holds for you and your family?
I believe the future is bright for myself, my marriage, my kids and for our country. I hope that my boys will grow up confident and unafraid, knowing who they are.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Do not ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that – because what the world needs is people who have come alive!” – Howard Thurman
Read more Crawford Alumni success stories here.
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