By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast employees and military participants gathered in front of the command's headquarters, Feb. 23, to celebrate good health, comradery and, most importantly, victory!
The command was presented the coveted NAS Jacksonville 2015 Captain's Cup trophy, awarded annually to the command that has demonstrated the highest level of participation and achievement in the Captain's Cup Athletics Program during a calendar year.
"This is the first time that NAVFAC has won," said NAS Jacksonville Installation MWR Program Director John Bushick. "Honestly, you all represent what the Captain's Cup competition is all about - it's about participation."
Captain's Cup sports consist of a variety of team and individual sporting events, leagues, and tournaments, held throughout the year. While participating in Captain's Cup events, teams receive points for participation as well as points for order of finish in each event. These points are totaled at the end of the year and the command with the most points overall claims the coveted 'Captain's Cup Championship Trophy.'
NAS Jacksonville Public Works Officer Cmdr. Joel Vanessen, standing in for the NAS Jacksonville commanding officer (CO) during the presentation of the trophy, said the CO was impressed with NAVFAC employees. He said they embodied an environment of health and wellbeing -- getting out and about and involved on the base.
Commands may enter as many teams or individuals in the events to earn Captain's Cup points for their command for participating in the events. For team sports, points are awarded to the commands who finish 1st and 2nd in the league and for finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the playoffs. For sports tournaments, commands earn additional points for finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
NAVFAC Southeast Executive Officer Capt. Drew Hascall provided some tongue-in-cheek comments during the presentation.
"John (Bushick) said it's about participation and Joel (Cmdr. Vanessen) said it's all about health and fitness and really ... they're both wrong. It's about winning! But seriously, the competition is a great way to build comradery, improve our health and just enjoy each others company."
NAVFAC Southeast Accounts Receivable Supervisor Amanda Foster (who placed second in the Spring Women's team competition with Kate Bates) said she enjoyed participating in the tennis tournaments.
"I enjoy playing tennis," said Foster. "There is something about being out on court, running around, sweating it out and hitting tennis balls that just makes me feel better. My anxiety levels lower, I sleep better, I relax, and I stop thinking about all my daily stressors. I don't even realize I feel better until I get off the court. Even when I'm not enthused to play, I get out there and voila, I'm happier!"
NAVFAC Southeast South Atlantic IPT PM Branch Head Jade Brown said, "I participate because it is a fun way to get to know some folks outside of my normal circle. It's a great way to get the competitive juices flowing in the middle of the work day which, I am convinced, makes me more effective at my job."
NAVFAC Southeast Project Manager Jason Bohrmann managed the command's 2015 Captain's Cup participation.
"Each year we get closer and closer to the goal of winning and the last couple of years we were really close and this year we were able to go the extra effort and push ourselves over the edge and win," said Bohrmann.
The following breakdown highlights NAVFAC's 2015 Captain's Cup accomplishments:
* 1st out of 44 commands participating
* Participated in 24 out of 31 Captain's Cup events
* Multiple teams and players in sports leagues:
Skeet (seven teams)
Fall Bowling (five teams)
Sand Volleyball & Winter Bowling (three teams)
Wallyball; Volleyball; Dodgeball; and Badminton doubles (two teams)
Badminton singles (five players)
* Multiple teams and players for sports tournaments:
Bean Bag Toss Doubles (eight teams - 16 players)
Tennis doubles (five teams)
3 on 3 Basketball (four teams)
* Champions for sports leagues:
Skeet - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
* Champions for sports tournaments and 5K races:
Bean Bag Toss - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
Tennis - Men and women's singles; women's doubles
Jingle Bell Jog 5K - 1st place male and female
NAVFAC Southeast UEM Division Utilities Analyst Dinah Ruiz encapsulated the value and purpose of the 'Cup' with her comments.
"For years, I would see people running and I would tell myself, 'I wish I could run just like them,'" said Ruiz. "One day in 2014, I read an email about a Valentine's Day run. So I filled out the form and entered. I was so nervous at first but to my surprise, I was able to run and I finished the course. The next month I ran the St. Patrick's Day run and placed 2nd for my age group. Now I make an effort to go to all the runs and as a result, I've won several medals. Thanks NAVFAC for giving me the opportunity to unleash the running capability I had hidden for years!"
Hascall provided the final remarks saying, "When we (Team NAVFAC) put our minds to things, we win! We win, we get it done. We all know when we gut it out together, we accomplish amazing things. Congratulations everyone and hoorah!"