SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP)–Oklahoma Baptist University athletes are teammates who work together not just on the field or court.
Throughout the semester, every Saturday one or more teams from the Shawnee campus have been helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house.
The project is part of OBU’s contribution to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Champions of Character initiative.
“It was a team-building experience because we were doing something as a team other than softball and we were doing something for others,” said Callie Moore. “Doing something for someone else builds unity.”
Some of the jobs completed by the athletes were placing siding on the house, adding a thicker form of dry wall to the ceiling, mudding and taping for sheet rock and even drawing lines to make the nails straight.
“Putting the siding on was a little difficult, but anybody could do it,” Kena Freeman of the softball team said. “They showed us how to do it as we watched them do the back of the house.”
The teams worked as though it might have been their own house. Some teams worked inside the house while others worked outside the house.
“I was glad we got to put up the siding because it is something people, including our team, will see when they drive by,” softball coach Pam Fink said.
“I didn’t want to mess up ’cause someone had to live there,” Pat Brown of the Bison track team said. “Adding dry wall to the ceiling was something I had never done before so I appreciated the experience,” he added.
“I called my dad and told him what I learned,” cheerleader Becky James said.
Although college students have been known to lack in the area of money, the house provided athletes a way to give. “Time I can give up on a Saturday,” cheerleader Angela Duncan said.
“The project was totally volunteer and there were lots of us who wanted to help a family in need,” track athlete Laura Nicklas said.
The project provided by Habitat for Humanity gave student athletes the chance to make their mark on the community. “Later I can drive by and say, ‘I had a part in helping those people,'” Duncan said.
The NAIA “Champions of Character” initiative is designed to create an environment in which every NAIA student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.
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