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CHAMPS for Life

There’s more to life than just sports, so student-athletes turn for guidance to former 49er women’s water polo player Candice Chick Shirey, coordinator of CSULB’s CHAMPS (Challenging Athletes’ Minds for Personal Success)/Life Skills program and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) through the Division of Student Services.

Shirey, who has a B.A. in communication studies and an M.A. in counseling and sports management from CSULB, wears a number of hats in serving athletes—administrator, confidante and even event planner.

“I’m the liaison for communication from the administration to the student athletes, she explained. “I envision, drive and facilitate the educational programs—there are many of these programs that student-athletes can attend each year.  I focus on educating the student athletes on life skills and current issues that are not typically learned in the classroom; i.e. leadership, problem solving and personal development. Philanthropy is really important to the development of the student-athletes at Long Beach State. We aim to meet the needs of the community as well as create new learning opportunities for the student athletes.”

CHAMPS/Life Skills is an NCAA-supported program that helps campuses develop character and leadership skills in student-athletes and provide advice on coping with their personal lives.

In addition, Shirey oversees Long Beach State’s Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education (APPLE) Committee, an NCAA program that focuses on alcohol and drug policies; brings speakers to address athletes on a variety of issues; and oversees the Student-Athlete Handbook that covers all NCAA and CSULB policies and procedures pertaining to athletes.

“My job is multifaceted,” she said. “I also manage banquets and events for any awards or accolades the students earn.  This includes an all-department barbecue, the academic luncheon and a halftime salute to student-athlete scholars.”