Cross Country Highlights
Cross Country Takes Part in the Nike Experience, a National Champions of Character Event
December 2, 2009
Ursuline College Cross Country athletes Jessica Dingman (Chardon, Ohio/Berkshire)
and Tanisha Williams (Springfield, Ohio/Troy)
, and Head Coach David Gramlich
took part in the Nike Experience Overview Champions of Character Event at the Nike World Headquarters.
"I was really happy to see Tanisha and Jessica take the time out of the busy weekend to help out at the NAIA Champions of Character event in Portland," said Coach Gramlich. "I know Jessica and Tanisha might not have realized it, but those high school students thought it was a big deal to learn about integrity, respect, sportsmanship, responsibility, and servant leadership from national championship caliber athletes. This event was a great representation of the values that both Ursuline College and the NAIA stand for."
The event, which took place two days prior to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, brought nearly 200 high school students from low a socioeconomic school in Northeast Portland to the Nike campus, allowing them a unique opportunity to interact with national caliber NAIA student-athletes and see what being a Champion of Character can help them accomplish. Dingman, Williams and Gramlich participated as Station and Group Leaders.
"It meant a lot to me to actually participate in this opportunity," said Williams. "I can say that I felt honored to be chosen for such a thing. I love helping young adults to be the best they can be, not only in school, but in athletics too. Teaching them to use the skills they learned in the real world."
"The Champions of Character events that the NAIA sponsors are great opportunities for collegiate athletes to practice "walking the walk", not just "talking the talk" with respect to our core values in sport," said Gramlich. "Many times in athletics we talk a great deal about our values, but sometimes it is hard to practice those values outside of competition. These events challenge both athletes and coaches to show that they are truly champions of character by stepping out into the community and making a difference for young student-athletes. The high school students are provided with a fantastic opportunity to see collegiate athletes and coaches not just giving speeches about values, but actually spending time working with them and actually exercising those values throughout various activities."
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recently named Ursuline College to the list of Champions of Character institutions for the 2008-09 school year. This is the third-straight year in which Ursuline has been named a Champions of Character Institution, and fifth time in six years of eligibility the Arrows have received the honor.
The mission of Champions of Character is to restore character values and raise a generation of students who understand and demonstrate in everyday decisions integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
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