News: Clash of rubber-suited titans takes place at IronWorks Gym
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Service members from Combat Logistics Company 36 took first place in the 2012 Commander’s Cup Challenge in a Sumo Basho match at IronWorks Gym sports courts here April 20, 2012.
The purpose of the event was to bring about unit cohesion, teamwork and friendly interunit rivalry.
“This gives them an opportunity to not only interact with each other, but compete against one another,” said Andrea Kawano, Marine Corps Community Service employee and assistant event organizer. “It’s also a good way to get service members more active in events like this, and it’s fun.”
Some of the groups who participated in the bash along with CLC-36 included units from Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Health Clinic, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Marine Air Control Squadron 4 Detachment B and Station Operations.
The Commander’s Cup Challenge is a series of events and games ranging from traditional sports such as Ironman challenges, basketball and softball to more alternative sports such as ultimate Frisbee and, in the case of this event, a sumo bash.
The rules for the event had participants in rubber sumo suits attempting to push one another outside of a red circle. If any part of a participant’s body exited the red ring before their opponent, they lost the round.
CLC-36 came in with a sound strategy to beat the others.
“We planned it out to have their little guys against our big guys and their big guys against our little guys,” said Sgt. Mark Herrmann, CLC-36 sumo bash participant. “We wanted our little guys to be able to use their speed against the bigger servicemembers and we’ve got the best war dogs on base.”
After CLC-36 claimed first place, Station Operations took second with MALS-12 finishing third.
CLC-36 hoped this victory will allow them to take the lead in the Commander’s Cup and win the challenge again this year.
“We were in second place coming into this,” said Herrmann. “We were tied with, I believe, MWSS-171. We’re trying to come from behind and sweep the challenge.”
Each unit was awarded points for participating in the event with CLC-36 earning 30 points, Station Ops 27 points and MALS-12 getting 25 points. All other groups received 20 points for participating.
Though CLC-36 won overall, the true intent of the challenge was met when all the servicemembers involved laughed and joined in from the sidelines cheering on their respective units.
“I was glad to see the servicemembers do something besides work,” said Kawano.
Other events slated for the Commander’s Cup Challenge are an aqua fitness challenge, ultimate Frisbee tournament and several other events later in the year.