Columbia College earned the top spot among 168 member institutions named Five-Star Award winners in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champions of Character competition.
The Fighting Koalas athletic program was the only one in the country earning a perfect score based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the 2013-2014 academic year.
Columbia College President Beth Dinndorf said, “Our scholar athletes exemplify Columbia College’s focus on teamwork and leadership. I am immensely proud of them for being recognized for their performance both on and off the field.”
Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA’s five core values—integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership—and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. While the Fighting Koalas have consistently scored very high in the NAIA Champions of Character program, this marks the first time Columbia College has received the top honor.
“Character education is very important to our athletic department. I am very proud of our student-athletes and coaches, and how they represent Columbia College and the Appalachian Athletic Conference through the NAIA Champions of Character program,” said Athletics Director Kellyann Stubblefield. “Our women are respectful, responsible, play and act with integrity, and show sportsmanship. They work hard to be good servant leaders in our community, and to achieve a perfect score and national-level recognition is incredible.”
Columbia College student athletes compete in ten sports in the Appalachian Athletic Conference—basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball.
The Champions of Character program
The Champions of Character program is sponsored by the NAIA and asks all student-athletes to pledge to adopt the five core character values of the NAIA-- integrity, responsibility, respect, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Columbia College athletics has made it a mission to be true Champions of Character on and off the field. The Champions of character program strives towards these main obejectives:
• To provide opportunities for the Champions of Character process to be
incorporated into athletic programs.
• To increase the number of athletic programs intentionally teaching character.
• To increase the number of parents and adult role models who are trained on how
to give proper support and be positive influences on young men and women.
• To positively impact the character development of students.
Columbia College student-athletes as well as coaches are expected to excel in all 5 areas of Champions of Character. Our coaching staff has completed the Character Driven Coaching course sponsored by the NAIA. Character Driven Coaching allowed our coaching staff to examine their coaching philosophy and use the course to create plans to build character withing our student-athletes.
Information regarding NAIA - Champtions of Character program, provided by: http://www.championsofcharacter.org/