‘Victory at Sea’ tournament celebrates veterans

'Victory at Sea' tournament celebrates veterans

On Oct. 13, the BW Campus Rec Outdoor Adventure Program Club along with the HPESS Outdoor Recreation and Education Class and the BW Student Veterans Organization hosted the “Victory at Sea” Kayak Football Tournament.

Christine Cancion, assistant director of campus recreation and adjunct professor in the HPESS Division, said “we intentionally ran it on the US Navy’s Birthday, October 13th. This event is new, but the format and purpose [are] something we do annually around Veteran’s Day in November every year.”

Due to COVID-19 the normal event, Canoe Battleship, was unable to happen because safety protocols could not be met.

Paul Brown, student veteran assistant, said “the tournament was a way to celebrate the Navy’s birthday as well as a way for us veterans to get involved with the campus and network with the students.”

The event was open to all BW students and employees.

Cancion said the tournament was also a way “to create awareness in our student body about our Student Veterans on campus and raise funding to assist in providing care packages to our SVO students who are currently deployed.”

Cancion said the tournament is also “used to provide a practical learning experience to students in the Outdoor Recreation and Education Course. […] Students spend about 6 weeks learning marketing applications, fundraising, program delivery, set up, safety and working as teams to put on an event and then they transfer the skills learned to running the event.”

Brown said that next year, he would like to “start advertising earlier. COVID has thrown quite a few wrenches in our plans but we were able to put together a successful tournament on short notice.”

Cancion said next year she would want to “do it in later September rather than October and find another way to tie it to a branch of the military” because of how cold it was on Oct. 13. She also said that they “started to run out of day light” due to the extra time it took to sanitize kayaks between rounds, but “all in all, it went smoothly.”

The event started just after 3 p.m. with opening remarks from the SVO and ended around 6 p.m. It was emceed and DJed by Navy Vet Sheneir Johnson, vice president of the Student Veteran Organization. There were five teams that participated, OAP, Phi Tau, Float Foe Show, Sea Stallions, and Goat N Boats. The Champion round was between the Sea Stallions and OAP, and OAP emerged as the winner of the tournament.

Cancion said “the VFW sent a Navy Veteran [Tad Brown, the vice commander of the VFW post 3345 in Strongsville,] who spoke at the event just before the awards presentation providing a nice message to students and staff.”

Cancion said that “we also had two big donars for the event: the VFW Post 3345 ($200) and ECS Tuning ($250),” which allowed them to be “able to get t-shirts for staff and to keep the marketing of the event going across campus all year round. We also had support from BW Alumni staff who came to the event to cheer teams on and brought student ambassadors.”

To find out more about the BW Campus Rec Outdoor Adventure Program Club and the BW Student Veterans Organization visit their Instagram profiles @bwcampusrec and @bw_svo. Students can also learn more about events like these by checking out Outdoor Adventure on MyBW for calendars of events and opportunities coming in the future.