NAIA soccer: Full circle impact beyond the fields
NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship takes place Dec. 2-7 in Orange Beach
GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – Collegiate soccer will storm the Orange Beach Sportsplex Dec. 2-7, 2019, as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Soccer National Championship kicks off with the top 16 teams from around the country. But soccer action is not the only thing that draws the NAIA to the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Brad Cygan, director of athletics communications for the NAIA, shares how student-athletes work hard to get to the championship and are rewarded with a retreat along Alabama’s beaches.
“One of the biggest reasons we love both our women’s soccer and track and field championships in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores is the emphasis the region puts on the student-athlete experience,” said Cygan. “These are memories our student-athletes will carry with them for the rest of their lives, and the time and effort that the region puts in to make these events special is fantastic.”
Likewise, NAIA’s impact on the coastal communities transcends beyond economic impact. Each NAIA championship features a Teaming Up for Character Event as part of its Champions of Character initiative, and during the week, student-athletes conduct soccer clinics at local schools. Additionally, the NAIA encourages Gulf Shores and Orange Beach residents to bring new toys to the Orange Beach Sportsplex to benefit local children through the Christian Service Center.
"Each year, the NAIA shows up and shows out in our beach communities, leaving behind tourism dollars and a lasting personal impact through the Champions of Character Program,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “We hope to give the student-athletes a destination experience of a lifetime and welcome them back for future family vacations.”
Fans may purchase daily passes for $15 and tournament passes for $35 at the gate. Children 10 and under will be admitted free.
Caption: The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Soccer National Championship takes place at the Orange Beach Sportsplex Dec. 2-7, 2019.
Credit: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission
About Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission:
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission is a partnership between Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (GSOBT), the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In 2007, this commission became a department within GSOBT. In this role, the commission – along with assistance from both cities – works to bring quality sporting events to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. To learn more about playing along Alabama’s 32 miles of white-sand beaches, please visit GulfShores.com/Sports.