WICHITA, Kan. – The Sterling College women’s cross country team has been selected as the 2014-15 KCAC Team of Character of the Year presented by IMA, Inc., the conference office announced Wednesday.
This past last year the Sterling women’s cross-country teams exemplified servant leadership in numerous ways. For the first meet of the cross-country season, the Warriors invited three schools to participate with no entry fee in order to give student-athletes a chance to visit and have fellowship with one another following the race. Sterling completed several NAIA Champions of Character Activities throughout the year, including the Big Warrior/Lil’ Warrior Mentoring Program. This program brought 11 youth (ages 5-12) from the community to join the cross-country teams for practice and dinner. The youth would go over Champions of Character values with the team, cheer on workouts, cool down, stretch, and then go eat in the cafeteria with the team.
“The women’s cross country team demonstrates servant leadership to others in the community,” VP of Student Life Tina Wohler said. “Their focas has been with the youth in the community this year. Together they work as a team to get into the community and share their love for track with children. They have been a blessing to many children and families.”
Every Friday, the Warriors venture over to the Sterling Grade School to read over the Champions of Character Checklist before recess and focus on certain core values each week. In addition to reading the checklist, members of the team signed 23 youth to the Champions of Character Live 5 pledge. On six occasions in the fall, Sterling was able to present classes with the Champions of Character Checklist and chose books to read to the students that represented those core values. The Warriors helped Habitat for Humanity on several occasions, building walls, installing doors and windows, among other activities on the visits. In addition to building the houses, Sterling spent a total of 54 hours helping one person move and 48 hours helping a couple move on another occasion.
“As an athletic trainer and associate professor, I see these young ladies in the classroom and the field of play,” director of athletic training Pete Manely said. “They exemplify what true servant leadership across our campus should look like in every setting. I am proud of their coaches for instilling the core values of our institution and the core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program in each student-athlete.”
The men’s and women’s cross-country teams spent 90 total hours at the Sterling Public Library during the fall reading 22 of the 24 books on the NAIA Champions of Character Book List during story time every Tuesday and Friday. The Warriors would also eat lunch at the Sterling Grade School with each class from the school from 11:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.every Friday. Academically, Sterling honored Heather Shaw as a NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete and KCAC Scholar-Athlete. Madison Caffrey, Renee Lanham and Katie De La Torre join Shaw on the KCAC Scholar-Athletes list.
IMA is the 10th largest independently owned retail insurance broker in the U.S., offering risk management and insurance services. Founded in 1974, IMA has nearly 650 employees in offices throughout the central U.S.