By Staff Sgt. Todd Pruden, Personnel Force InnovationApril 8, 2010
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz.--Why is Fort Huachuca a good fit for All-Army Boxing' That's probably a question on a lot of people's minds these days, since the All-Army Boxing Team candidates arrived on post.
All-Army Boxing is just one of many competitive sports offered by the All-Army Sports program which is administered by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. According to the MWR Web site, there are currently 14 other sports Soldiers can compete in order to move up to the Army World Class Athlete Program. And just as Fort Huachuca hosts All-Army Boxing, other installations in the Army host these other All-Army Sports.
So, how does an installation get to host an All-Army Championship'
"You have to bid for it," said Leslie Woods, Fort Huachuca chief of Sports, fitness and aquatics, MWR. "Every installation has the opportunity to vie for an All-Army Sports championship.
According to Woods, installations fill out a packet which asks specific questions about housing, messing, training, competition and command support. He said that every year, Fort Huachuca has to vie for All-Army Boxing championship with any other installation.
"There are other installations out there that do want Army boxing," he said "The history has been at Fort Huachuca."
Fort Huachuca first hosted All-Army Boxing in 1987. And according to Woods, has hosted it most years since then.
"This area's well known for their spectator knowledge of amateur boxing," Woods said. "It developed into a following over the decade."
And he said the post has all of the support measures in place to host the event.
"The history has been at Fort Huachuca, he said. "The command support is behind it. The MWR support and staff has been engaged in hosting this event for a very long time. And I think the command knows that we do a pretty good job of doing that. And my staff knows how to do that with their eyes closed."
Hosting the All-Army Boxing at Fort Huachuca has benefits to the Soldiers involved and its training staff. Woods made mention of a few to include the advantage that the post is nearly 5,000 feet above sea level and that the post is somewhat isolated, so that the Soldiers can concentrate more on their training.
But, not only does hosting the All-Army Boxing benefit the boxers, the post benefits from it as well. Woods said that Soldiers on post could benefit from the equipment used during the training.
"From a Soldier perspective, it provides us the opportunity to supplement what we can with equipment and supplies, as the Army sports office pays for all equipment and supplies that are used for this Army boxing championship, he said.
"And then when it's over, we get to keep it. So, the Soldiers get to use that."
Woods said that amateur boxing is slightly different than what one might see on television.
He said the rules are slightly different, and safety is paramount.
"More skill is involved in amateur boxing," Woods said. "It's more points orientated. In order to win; they have to get more points than their competitor. They have to wear their headgear; they have to wear their padded gloves."
He said amateur boxing only lasts up to three rounds and knockouts or knock downs are not the intent.
"But it does happen and let's admit it, it's a crowd pleaser," Woods stated. "But it's not the intent for the boxer to hurt the other boxer.
Certainly not an Army Soldier going against another Army Soldier."
Preliminary bouts were held earlier this week at Barnes Field House. The Championship
Night will be at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Woods said he is looking forward to this year's competition, and it should be a great event.
"It's going to be a good show this year," he said.
"It's a good crew. All of the pieces are coming together. We've got a lot of good, young boxers. Very enthusiastic, very engaged and the best coaches that you can get. I'm really excited about it this year."