By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterOctober 24, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 24, 2013) -- With a large selection of choices when it comes to intramural sports at Fort Rucker, people aren't limited when it comes to the type of sports available on the installation.
But not one to rest on its laurels, the Fort Rucker Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is conducting its first intramural sports survey now through Nov. 1 to learn about potential new sports that people might be interested in, according to CW3 Erik Bratton, operations officer for the U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment Flatiron, 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment.
"The purpose of this survey is not only to identify possible new intramural sports offerings on Fort Rucker, but to gauge the level of interest and (level of participation) in past and present intramural sports program offerings," he said.
Bratton, who is currently interning for the Fort Rucker Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Branch, said it's imperative for people to participate in the survey in order to give the sports program an idea of the current status of their level of interest, as well as future interest in intramural sports.
It's meant to help shape the future offerings of the program to more accurately reflect the interests of the Fort Rucker community, he added. The survey is a way for people to have a voice when it comes to the type of activities that are available for them.
"The intramural sports program is driven by interest and participation, and without programs the community wants, the program itself will cease to be a fully functioning part of offerings within the sports, fitness and aquatics branch," said Bratton. "(The survey) is absolutely integral (because) any new program has to start with an idea and be something that the community wants."
Bratton said that the new ideas that are submitted through the survey will be taken seriously due to a notable decline in intramural sports Army wide in the last 10 years.
Some of the decline in interest can be attributed to the operations tempo of the current force, deployments and a need to reconnect with Families, but also because programs can become stale over time if new ideas aren't considered, he added.
"There are a few programs that are staples of intramural sports, such as flag football, basketball and volleyball, but these are usually competitive sports and some people feel they don't have the requisite talents to play," said Bratton. "We are trying to see if there are other sports, such as kickball, that would be fun, more inclusive of the entire community and be less on the competitive side."
In order for a new idea to be taken into serious consideration, a 40 percent or better response rate is needed to put that sport in a position to be considered for intramural offering, he said.
"(Community feedback) is the only thing that matters," he said. "Intramural sports are not driven by money, but by participation, and in order to have a successful program, there must be a buy in from the target audience."
People can participate in the survey by either visiting the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility or going online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FJ3TS9G.