Columbia College receives national recognition on and off the field
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For the second year in a row, Columbia College earned the top spot in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Champions of Character competition.
Columbia College placed first out of 248 member institutions based on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA’s five core values—integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership—and earned 109 out of 110 points.
“Champions of Character really stands out to me in comparison to other athletics because it shows that Columbia College’s spirit and the NAIA focus on more than just winning games and races. It’s about showing character, integrity and respect on and off the field. The Champions of Character award shows that athletes at CC are not solely focused on being the best at their sport but being the best that they can be in their communities as well,” said Helen Taylor, a sophomore communications major and Champions of Character recipient for track and field.
The Champions of Character is a criterion that sets the standard of integrity, responsibility, character sportsmanship and service leadership that the NAIA wants schools, staff and athletes to abide by. It is the role of the schools and athletic departments to embody the characteristics, message and expectations of the NAIA, Kellyann Stubblefield, the director of athletics at Columbia College, said.
“I was really excited to hear that we received Champions of Character last year and getting it again this year is really awesome,” said Kendra Blackstock, a junior business and administration major and member of the lacrosse team.
Blackstock also said that teamwork played a large part in achieving the Champions of Character goals and that she looks forward to working with the team to achieve more and win the Champions of Character award again next year.
Moving forward, the athletic department will meet with each team to go over policy, procedures and expectations. “The athletic department will continue to represent CC to the best of their ability. We set a goal to be the top school in the country and have succeeded two years in a row. Now we are trying for three,” Stubblefield said.