Marines competed in the Semper Fit Summer Challenge Dodgeball Tournament at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Fitness Center, July 26.
Five units from the Air Station were represented and split into teams by work section. Teams competed against each other to advance to the next round. After many rounds of competition a champion was declared. A group of poolees in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program also attended the event.
"Marines by nature, are competitive," said Staff Sgt. Kyle Kulczyk, the S-3 Operations Chief from Marine Wing Support Detachment 31 and coach of the team. "That’s just how we are, especially in our unit. We’ve had a few different teams. Like tonight, we have three different teams here from our unit, so there’s been a lot of trash talk going on all week about who’s going to beat who."
The SFSC kicked off May 4 and has been underway since then, giving Marines and Sailors of MCAS Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island opportunities to participate. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, camaraderie and teamwork.
"The events have been split between the two bases and anyone whose unit is signed up can attend events to earn points for their unit," said Bemjie Pangelinan, a Single Marine Program coordinator. "The points will be totaled and the first and second place units will win money for their birthday ball fund."
The first place winners will receive a $1,000 and the second place runner-up will receive $500 to go into their unit fund for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Many units from Beaufort and two battalions from Parris Island are participating in the summer challenge. But the SFSC is more than just a unit fundraiser.
"We’ve tried to remain active in all parts of the Semper Fit Summer challenge because it’s something that promotes good health in the Marines and it gets a lot of the Marines you see in the barracks out here and playing an organized sport," said Kulczyk.
Unit members have been encouraged to attend other events to earn points for the challenge. Participating in tobacco cessation classes, offered every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., bowling, rock climbing, AMP-IT, softball and SMP programs earn points for units.
"I encourage Marines daily to participate in SFSC," said Sgt. Alex Mangan, MWSD-31 Mess Chief. "My unit has participated in every event thus far with more to come. As far as I know, we are in first place and have no intention of slowing down."
Semper Fit Summer Challenge has more events coming up and the unit points will be totaled Aug. 31. There will be one more 5 kilometer run, a S’mores Day, troop appreciation, dodgeball, a swim meet and a car show.
"This is actually the biggest turn out we’ve had for the dodgeball," said Chelsea Pethtel, Semper Fit intern. "The summer challenge is an opportunity to participate in Semper Fit programs and earn points. We had a pretty good turnout at the Super Hero 5k, about 260 people. The runs are usually the biggest events. We have one of those on Aug. 5, the College Mascot 5k."