HMCS Calgary challenges crew to stay fit

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Lifestyle - Life at Sea / May 2, 2016

By Sub-Lieutenant Samantha Bayne

While participating in the multinational exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, HMCS Calgary is challenging its crew to their fourth consecutive Fitness Challenge. The program aims to improve the general health and fitness of participants by having them measure and track their fitness activity.

Each activity such as running, weight-lifting or playing sports is assigned point values and participants are attempting to do enough activities within the challenge window to meet the Fitness Challenge goal of 335 points (the same number as the Calgary’s hull). Earning points by working out is only one aspect of the challenge. By forgoing desserts and smoking, participants can net a higher number of daily points. Additionally, while the ship is in port, sailors can earn more points by making healthier lifestyle choices, such as not consuming alcohol.

Ongoing since fall 2015, the program was first initiated in Calgary by the ship’s Fitness Coordinator, Sergeant Steven Lewington. “The aim of the Fitness Challenge is to allow the ship’s company to set attainable fitness goals, which in turn entices sailors of all fitness levels to work out. It also helps the crew deal with the stresses of sailing and increases work productivity.”

The number of participants grows with each challenge, amassing to over 300 challengers over the past year. Physical training classes at the gym were arranged twice a week during the Fitness Challenge while the ship was alongside in home port. Crew members were given more points to join these classes, which encouraged the crew to participate with their shipmates and build team cohesion. Some members are doing it to challenge themselves or each other, but all are striving towards improving their general fitness and aim to lead healthier lifestyles.

While the ship was alongside in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Fitness Challenge participants were awarded extra points for participating in RIMPAC sports events. The crew partook in friendly competition in a wide range of sports including basketball, golf, volleyball and bowling.

The Fitness Challenge program will run from June 13 to August 12, 2016, culminating in the awarding of various prizes and awards for members of the ship following the completion of RIMPAC. Prizes include Fit Bits and gift cards to various sporting stores.