Bluefield College introduced a new athletic mission statement to its student-athletes, Tuesday, October 19, and used a legendary name in sports to unveil the new plan — former Virginia governor and onetime United States senator George F. Allen.
On campus for the second time in just four months, Allen, a longtime friend of Bluefield College, who helped announce the return of intercollegiate football at BC in June, spoke about energy, faith, focus, ownership, respect, and teamwork, the six core values that make up BC’s new athletic mission statement, titled “A Game Plan for Life.”
“This is truly outstanding,” said Allen about the principles of BC’s Game Plan for Life. “All of it is great. I may even steal some of this for my speeches. Prospective parents who see this will say this is a place where my son or daughter can go and play collegiate sports, but also learn about character and values.”
The core values of the Game Plan for Life, designed by athletic director Pete Dryer and BC coaches, speak to the sacrifices and dedication required of athletes (energy), the trust in and service to one another (faith), the discipline necessary to succeed (focus), the leadership and responsibility needed to compete (ownership), the humility and sportsmanship expected (respect), and the accountability to teammates (teamwork). The first letters of the six core values spell the word “effort.”
“What’s great about sports is everyone is on a level playing field. It’s an equal opportunity to compete,” said Allen, a former football and rugby player at the University of Virginia, whose father, George Herbert Allen, was a legendary coach in the National Football League. “That’s what we should aspire to in our communities, in our economy — to create a level playing field that will allow everyone to compete.”
Sworn in as governor of Virginia in 1994 and elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, Allen shared other sports-to-life principles with the BC students from his book, “What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports,” including points on preparedness, sportsmanship, and competition.
“I’m hopeful that the student-athletes of Bluefield College will take with them not only a better education, but also lessons learned about teamwork, preparation, and accountability — lessons they can use not only in sports, but in life,” said Allen, who in addition to public service continues to pursue a variety of passions in sports.
The former Virginia governor who brought sweeping reform to the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system, education standards and accountability, and economic development also met individually on the BC campus with President David Olive, trustees Julie Johnson and David Bailey, athletic director Pete Dryer, and head football coach Mike Gravier.
The onetime senator who chaired the Senate High Tech Task Force and created the Competitive Caucus to keep America the “world capital of innovation” also served as keynote speaker later in the day for the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce’s 105th Annual Dinner Meeting.