BREMERTON — The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) was awarded the 2016 Naval Base Kitsap 2016 Captain’s Cup May 12.
The annual Captain’s Cup sports program consists of a variety of team and individual sports events and tournaments held throughout the year for registered NBK 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, an 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. The Nimitz earned 20 percent more points than its closest competitor.
The program’s objective is to give sailors the opportunity to participate in planned activities intended to promote physical fitness and well-being 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 Jose Lorenzana, aviation ordnanceman airman, a member of Nimitz’ Chester Football Club 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’re not going to succeed.”
The competition, giving sailors recognition for their athletic participation and achievement as individuals, teams and ultimately a command offers the incentive to house the trophy aboard their ship 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’s 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 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, Bangor and Bremerton 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.
The Nimitz is currently preparing for an upcoming deployment.