On Friday, September 11th, the College of the Ozarks athletic program was selected by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a Five-Star Champions of Character Institution and awarded the Silver Medallion.
The NAIA Champions of Character (COC) program provides training for student athletes and professional development for coaches and staff to promote the values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Live 5 training for NAIA Student-Athletes is one example—all student-athletes on campus take short, interactive courses to learn what the five Champions of Character core values mean and how to apply them to everyday life both inside and outside of competition.
Each NAIA institution completes an annual COC Scorecard, which measures the institution’s commitment to the Champions of Character program. Points are earned through various avenues: on-campus training and development of athletes and coaches, student overall GPA, participation in Champions of Character functions, and conduct in competition. A maximum of 100 points may be awarded, and institutions with a score of 60 or more points are named Five Star Champions of Character Institutions. Scores received determine the awards conferred.
College of the Ozarks is an active participant in this NAIA program, which parallels the values of the College. Dr. Mark Rapinchuk, Campus Character Liaison for College of the Ozarks, comments, “In the nationwide arena of college sports, we are inundated with reports of athletes who do not choose to build their character around these five core values. I am proud of the example our coaches set for their players and the investment they make in sharing these values with the athletes. Good sportsmanship on the court, taking time despite a busy schedule to read to children in local school classrooms, scheduling study sessions, providing community service, or hosting a team Bible Study—these are all ways in which our athletes see the core values lived out on a daily basis. I am also impressed with the many student-athletes on our campus who choose to embrace these values and implement them in their own lives.”