Bluefield College Athletes Named Champions of Character - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Bluefield College Athletes Named Champions of Character

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When it comes to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics, Bluefield College champions the cause, according to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), who recently named BC a Champions of Character Five Star Institution.

The NAIA -- which boasts a proud reputation as an organization that simultaneously promotes competitive athletics, academic excellence, and character values -- launched its Champions of Character program in 2000 in an effort to instill character values in sport and provide practical tools for student athletes, coaches and parents to use in modeling exemplary character traits.

The program emphasizes five core values -- integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership -- and student-athletes at respective member institutions are expected to exhibit these character values in competition and to model service and character on campus and in the community.

Each year, the NAIA monitors and evaluates member schools' efforts toward advancing character-driven athletics through a Champions of Character Scorecard. Schools are measured and earn points by demonstrating character in training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion. Schools that score highest on the scorecard are deemed "Five Star Institutions," and based on the 2012 findings, Bluefield College is among the Five Star Champions of Character schools.

"I am proud of our student-athletes and the effort they have made this past year to be engaged with and in the surrounding community through their service," said BC President David Olive. "While being recognized as a Champions of Character Five Star Institution is nice, our primary focus is on our student-athletes and helping teach them a spirit of service that they can carry with them for life."

In 2012, BC student-athletes were involved in a variety of character building activities that demonstrated servant leadership, responsibility, integrity and respect, including, among others, promotional campaigns to endorse justice, fundraising projects to battle cancer, charity events to provide new shoes for the needy, and aid adventures to provide clean water to those without.

"Our Athletic Department is very intentional about character development and serving the campus and community both on and off the playing field," said BC Athletics Director Peter Dryer. "Our student-athletes have done some great things this past year, and I am very proud of their efforts to earn a Five Star Champions of Character distinction for Bluefield College."

Bluefield College and the other Five Star Institutions will be recognized during the NAIA's 72nd Annual National Convention in April of this year. In addition, they will be listed on the NAIA Champions of Character web site and will receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor.

"The Champions of Character program continues to grow and impact people throughout our nation," said Kristin Gillette, director of the Character program, "as a result of the passion and commitment of NAIA member institutions."