The University of Houston-Victoria recently was recognized for the second time by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a Champions of Character institution for actively instilling high standards and virtues in its student-athletes.
“I’m so proud of our baseball and softball players for demonstrating strong values off the field as well as excellence on the field,” UHV Athletics Director Ashley Walyuchow said. “We want to give these students something more than just a uniform and a place to play.”
The Champions of Character program recognizes schools that instill the virtues of respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership and sportsmanship in athletes. UHV was first recognized for the 2007-2008 season, while the latest recognition was for the 2008-2009 season.
“I would like to congratulate the University of Houston-Victoria for being named an NAIA Champions of Character Institution for the second year in a row,” said Rob Haworth, NAIA vice president for Champions of Character. “The administration, coaches, athletics staff and student-athletes should be commended for their commitment to character-driven athletics.”
During their first two seasons, members of both Jaguars teams mentored Victoria area school children as part of the Sure B.E.T. (Business & Education Together) program, Walyuchow said.
Team members also helped with the Challengers athletics program in Victoria for handicapped children, he said.
This season, both teams are continuing to serve as mentors and actively pursuing other volunteer opportunities in the community.
“UHV’s student-athletes have served as excellent role models in this community,” Sure B.E.T. Executive Director Rhonda Fotiades said. “I’m just so excited to have them back for another year to inspire our young people in Victoria schools who need that extra encouragement to succeed.”
Walyuchow said such community support will increase in the near future.
“As we expand our athletics program with the addition of golf and soccer in fall, we also will increase the number of ways we give back to this community,” he said.