The Central Christian College men’s soccer program was recently awarded the Buffalo Funds Five Star Awards for its demonstration of integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Champions of Character founding partner Buffalo Funds present Buffalo Funds Five Star Awards for each of the NAIA’s 23 championship sports.
According to Head Coach Lenny Favara, character is the goal, the sport is the tool.
“Character development is not an aspect of our game, or a neat little program that is added on to our overall strategy,” Favara said. “I want our men to exit this program as better men; more capable men; men of character. If we can succeed at that, then the scoreboard and the record will follow suit.”
With the team focused on character, the work ethic for all the players has improved, Favara said.
Community service performed by team members during the 2008-09 academic year:
• Team members served as administrative runners for the YMCA/
United Way triathlon
• The entire team assisted a local homeowner with total house repairs: painting, yard work, rubbish removal, disposal, etc.
• Individual players assisted in a sports camp designated to teaching character and sports skills.
• Coaches and players hosted a week-long summer soccer camp. The camp included kindergarten through high school students and focused on skill and play development. Time was taken each day to focus on specific character related issues.
• Twelve players and two coaches will travel to Costa Rica in January in order to work with under-privileged children. SCORE International is the hosting agency.
• During the Kick Cancer Event, students used a home game to focus on cancer research and fundraising for cancer research. The players also wore memorial armbands and literature, which was distributed during the game.
• The team hosted a “Kick Hunger” campaign by networking with a local food distribution center to collect non-perishable food items. Donations were made for admission.
• Players partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and City Church by collecting toys for children. Toys were boxed and wrapped for distribution.
Many of the players hold leadership positions on campus and work with local children and share the sport of soccer. In addition to their work with the local community, players will make their way to Costa Rica in January to work with underprivileged children.
The following teams were recognized during the fall sports season: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (Fla.) University; Indiana Wesleyan University; Mount Mercy (Iowa) College; Central Christian College and Mills (Calif.) College.
Teams that receive this prestigious award demonstrate in every day decisions respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.