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Business and sports worlds have certain parallels

December 19, 2018

Today we offer a few reflections on sports and their connection to the business of the Chamber.

I think many of us watched the Huskers play in the NCAA Volleyball Final Four last weekend. Think about how many times you heard commentators, coaches and players on the Husker team talk about two things: hard work and common purpose. The players were excited about extra chances to work hard in practice and they were 100 percent bought in to the idea of playing for each other. You heard the message over and over that the team’s closeness and trust is what got them to the Final.

Well, those are powerful messages for any person, any business and any community. Unity of purpose, hard work and trust in your colleagues will get any of us a long way.

What great ambassadors for the State of Nebraska we had representing us in Minnesota last weekend! We would all be happy to have people across the country associate those values and attributes with our state, right? As you think about our efforts in workforce recruitment, what better attractors to the people who will fit Nebraska’s culture could we have?

This was another reminder that the power of athletics and specifically Husker teams goes far beyond the wins and losses in our state. These traditions become part of the identity of our place and our people, they influence how we see ourselves and others see us, they matter in some fairly significant ways. In that context, the Husker women made an impact on our state this season.

In a local sense, you see the same impact from high school athletics. Clearly athletics teaches the participants skills and traits that will serve them well in today’s economy: teamwork, work ethic, ability to welcome diversity and responsibility. But beyond that, the power of your hometown team to unite a community is fairly remarkable. In an era of school consolidation in our state, the promise of those teams to unite a region of former rivals is one reason to hope for positive outcomes in those areas, and we’ve seen examples of that around the state.

We’ll see that on display next week at the annual Columbus Holiday Basketball Tournament. This marks the 37th year for the Columbus Area Chamber to organize the tournament.

This year’s opening day schedule at Lakeview is:

Thursday, Dec. 27

Varsity:

1 p.m. - Scotus v. Schuyler girls

2:45 p.m. - Scotus v. Schuyler boys

6 p.m. - Lakeview v. Twin River girls

7:45 p.m. - Lakeview v. Twin River boys

Junior Varsity:

1 p.m. - Scotus v. Schuyler boys

2:45 p.m. - Scotus v. Schuyler girls

6 p.m. - Lakeview v. Twin River boys

7:45 p.m. - Lakeview v. Twin River girls

Corporate sponsors for the tournament are Bank of the Valley, Columbus Children’s Healthcare, Columbus United Federal Credit Union, Columbus Community Hospital, Cornerstone Insurance, D.A. Davidson, Flat River Corp., Genoa Community Bank, Hy-Vee, ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration, Superior Industries, and Silver Creek Insurance Agency. It’s clear the business community sees the value of high school athletics, as evidenced by their support of the tournament, which returns funds to the participating high schools.

Before we get to the tournament, I imagine we’ll see some of you out there shopping in Columbus the next couple days finishing up the Christmas list. After that, the Chamber office will be closed Monday and Tuesday for the holiday.

We wish you a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and a very Merry Christmas to you from the Columbus Area Chamber.

K.C. Belitz is the president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

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