For years the Salina, Kansas community has rallied around the Kansas Wesleyan tennis program. The Coyotes are boosted by their cheers and words of encouragement as they compete fiercely on court. For every cheer and word of encouragement they receive, the Coyotes make sure to pay it back to their community.
In 2019-20, the men’s program tallied over 277 hours of community service. Their efforts ranked second-best out of all athletic programs at the university.
The Coyotes were named the 2020 ITA National Community Service Award winners for NAIA Men due to their steadfast commitment to community service.
The six-man men’s squad lent their time and effort in a number of ways. The Coyotes could be found lending a hand at the local Salina animal shelter, advocating for those stuck in poverty, and stepping up to assist with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes ministry.
“Receiving the coveted national NAIA men’s community service award is a testament to the great work being done and the good hearts of the players on our team,” Head Coach Josh Molino expressed. “This is a greatly appreciated recognition that gives a nod to our great institution’s ability to stay consistent with its mission that aims to serve God by encouraging a sense of community, a sense of gratitude and serving others.”
The program continues to cultivate the sense of community by helping out Salina community members as they settle into their new homes. Whether it be loading, moving or unloading, the Coyotes support their fellow community members.
“Because we enjoy people’s support when they come to watch our matches, we understand the need to give back the same support by lending our hands, time, and effort in a manner that demonstrated our willingness to practice servant leadership,” Molino said.
Servant leadership is a tenant of the Kansas Wesleyan tennis program. The coaches work hard to instill in the players the value of servant leadership alongside inclusiveness and building a sense of community.
“Our men’s team has bought into the process and have simply demonstrated their willingness to serve others through their various community service efforts,” Molino said. “We are proud of them.”