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2017 NAIA Championship Host Excellence Awards Announced

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce the first year of the NAIA National Championship Host Excellence Awards. Seven honors were awarded to championship site hosts that have shown excellence during the 2016-17 school year. These hosts provided the student-athletes with great championship experiences that they will remember for a lifetime.

“We know just how much hard work goes into hosting NAIA championships so we want to make sure we honor that effort,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “This, year we had a great group of hosts and are pleased to announce the winners who did an excellent job of creating the right atmosphere, handling difficult issues and working well alongside our staff to put forth great events for our student-athletes.”

This awards program was launched showcase and reward the excellent work being done by NAIA hosts at national championships.

“We are thrilled to be able to honor our championship host partners for their outstanding job in hosting our student athletes,” said Mike Higgins, Director of Championships. “We put so much emphasis on the overall student-athlete experience and so many factors lead to the memories that will last a lifetime.”

The NAIA championships and communications departments nominate the championship hosts from the previous year. Based upon a rating system followed by the championships department. The NAIA championships staff then votes to select the winners for each award category.

The 2017 winners are as follows:

Best NAIA Host – The City of Sioux City, Iowa

The Best NAIA Host is awarded to the championship host who displays excellence in all aspects of hosting a national championship and produces an excellent student athlete experience. In 2017, Sioux City, Iowa, was named as the best NAIA host for the Division II Women’s Basketball Championship.

Sioux City has been a great partner alongside the NAIA and it is reflected in every facet of the event as they roll out the red carpet to make certain that all participating teams and fans feel

welcome and a part of this special event at the Tyson Events Center. The 20th anniversary celebration of hosting the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship last season is a testament to the hard work and consistency that the tournament staff and Sioux City community continue to pour into making this event so spectacular.

The City of Sioux City has also taken on the responsibility of being the championship host for the women’s volleyball championship for the last 10 years.

“We are thrilled to be named Host of the Year,” said Erika Newton, Executive director, Events & Facilities Department, City of Sioux City. “This is a testament to the hard work of the organizers who originally formed the partnership with the NAIA 20 years ago, as well as the volunteers, sponsors, and City staff who dedicate their time and resources to the championships. We are very proud of our NAIA relationship, and are humbled to accept such a prestigious honor. We look forward to the many years to come.”

“It’s been a great relationship with the NAIA and this just validates it,” said Corey Westra, Great Plains Athletic Conference commissioner. “We’re doing what they want and in turn we’re giving a quality event to the student athletes of the NAIA and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. We’ve had this relationship for a long time through various sports and it’s been an ongoing goal of our city to get better and continue to improve.”