Sterling College was selected by the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a 2007-2008 NAIA Champions of Character Institution because of its commitment to the use of sports as a character-building tool. In the past year Sterling College football and basketball players read to students in Sterling Grade School; the soccer teams visited with residents in the local nursing home; softball players worked with the mentoring network YouthFriends; and the men’s basketball team held free clinics for children in Sterling, Hutchinson, and Ellsworth.
Andy Lambert, Sterling Athletic Director, comments, “We are very pleased with the Champions of Character Award. It confirms what we already knew to be true about our coaches and players. We believe the formation of character through sport is one of the most important items we, as coaches and as a department, provide to our society.”
The NAIA launched the Champions of Character program in 2000 with the mission of using sports to teach respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship, both inside and outside sports settings. The Champions of Character program encourages its member colleges and universities to pursue those character values through their athletic contests, public service projects, practice and game-situation behavior, athletic/academic environments, and character education. In turn, Champions of Character Institutions are expected to impact coaches, youth participants, and parents in their local communities.