By: Kevin Geiss
When the Athletes in Action (AIA) Sports Complex and Retreat Center (SCRC) hosts championship events, we do so with partnership as the ultimate goal. “Partnership” is a word often thrown around without being qualified. When AIA partners with other sports organizations we focus on serving in such a way that all objectives are exceeded and everyone involved leaves looking forward to doing it all over again.
For the past four years the SCRC has been the site of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s (GLIAC) annual baseball championship. This NCAA Division II conference sends their top six qualified teams here to determine which will have an opportunity to continue their season in the sub-regional round.
The 2017 baseball championship was completed in May with rave reviews of the quality of the event’s partnership between AIA and the GLIAC. Associate Commissioner Jeff Ligney commented, “Thanks for everything. Your staff served with excellence again this year!” GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar noted, “great job to everyone involved. The tournament ran so smoothly.”
The main reason this partnership works so well is due to the desire to see servant leadership shine through in the event’s execution. Servant leadership involves teamwork, humility, availability, and excellence. Those qualities were observed in the GLIAC Baseball Championship through:
From grounds crew, to public address announcers, to parking attendants, to tournament coordinators, GLIAC and AIA prepared well in advance of this event to ensure that everyone would work together so that the teams would have an exceptional experience. With strong lines of communication and a service mind-set, the full game operations roster demonstrated teamwork in the five-day tournament.
The ability to humble oneself to elevate others is an essential in event leadership. AIA’s event supervisors practiced this quality throughout this baseball championship. These workers executed multiple assignments throughout the event and were willing to take a “back-seat role” to make sure that the those participating in the GLIAC event could be moved to the forefront.
As a sports ministry, AIA desires to engage with people right where they are at in life. This is seen very simply through staff member’s willingness to be available and attentive to the needs of those in attendance. One volunteer, traveling from North Carolina to serve with AIA, took extra time in listening, conversing, and being available to a participating team’s athletic director following the tournament’s team banquet. This type of servant leadership creates partnership bonds that extend into the future.
The ability to exceed expectations (and the requirements of a contract) is the mark of serving with excellence. This is the goal of every event hosted at the AIA Sports Complex and Retreat Center. Excellence happens when staff members function at high levels throughout an event. From the preparations taking place months in advance, to the in-game activity, to closing out the final details, quality in the specifics is important. AIA and the GLIAC both have commented on meeting this level with one another in this tournament partnership.
AIA is continually building partnerships that can exhibit teamwork, humility, availability, and excellence to serve participants at their Xenia, Ohio sports complex. View more partner options with AIA to host together host an event that exemplifies servant leadership.
How can we partner with your team or organization today? For more information, contact Brad Newsome at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-352-1217.