Story by MC2 Holly Herline
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was awarded the 2016 Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Captain’s Cup aboard the ship, May 12.
The annual Captain’s Cup sports program consists of a variety of team and individual sport events and tournaments held throughout the year for registered NBK tenant commands.
With each event, teams and individuals earn points for their respective command or detachment, with different point values associated with various placements. The command with the most points at the end of the year is awarded the Captain’s Cup trophy.
Julia McLaughlin, NBK Sports, Fitness and Aquatics director, said Nimitz Sailors participated in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, football, a fun run and multiple weightlifting competitions to accumulate a total of 1,045 points, earning them their title. Nimitz earned 20 percent more points than its closest competitor.
The objective of the program is to give Sailors the opportunity to participate in planned activities intended to promote physical fitness and wellbeing while ultimately building morale and camaraderie both on and off the field.
“I learned that I have to rely on the person to my left and right,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Jose Lorenzana, a member of Nimitz’ Chester Football Club (FC) Alpha soccer team that won first place in NBK’s 2016 soccer finals. “If you don’t have trust in the other person, you’re not going to win soccer games. It’s the same kind of trust on the ship, you have to trust them 100 percent especially underway or on deployment or you are not going to succeed.”
These competitions give Sailors recognition for their athletic participation and achievement as individuals, teams and ultimately a command. The trophy will be displayed aboard Nimitz until they are defeated.
“I think that it’s a big win for the ship, and we all succeeded,” said Capt. Kevin P. Lenox, Nimitz’ commanding officer. “But, I think the real winners are the Sailors in this region because there’s such a robust program for everyone to participate in all these sports.”
Michael Martin, a fitness specialist at the NBK Bremerton Fitness Center, said the intermural sports personnel at the various facilities often work closely with those that run the Captain’s Cup to provide Sailors a way to stay active. In addition, the NBK Bangor and Bremerton facilities offer pools, saunas and even a bowling lane along with their various fields and courts used for intermural sports. Trainers also provide extensive programs from spin classes to karate, lead exercise classes and work with command groups throughout the year for Sailors not interested in the competition.
In the coming weeks, Nimitz is slated to hold a celebration on the mess decks for the Sailors and teams that contributed to this year’s Captain’s Cup.
Nimitz is currently preparing for an upcoming deployment.