FORT SILL, Okla.--Did you know the Fort Sill sports, fitness and aquatics branch offers a variety of programs aimed at providing physical and mental well-being opportunities to the members of the Fort Sill community, as well as Southwest Oklahoma'

The branch offers quality sports programs and recreational activities to active-duty service-members here.

Also, it strives to partner with other organizations, such as the Fort Sill Co-op program, to offer a quality recreational sports program to Co-op members throughout Southwest Oklahoma.

Their mission is to operate and manage their facilities in a manner that produces an environment which encourages staff interaction and a desire to develop programs based upon the customer's needs and desires.

In other words, they want to hear from you, the patrons who use those facilities and programs.
The facilities within the branch include the fitness centers, the Cannoneer Softball Complex and the aquatics facilities on post.

Also included are the many outdoor activity fields, as well as the Rec Hut, tennis courts and hockey rink, adjacent to Butner Field.

Of all the programs offered by the branch, the Commander's Cup sports program is their focal point.

This program for active- duty service members is comprised of 14 intramural sports offered throughout the year. Units participating accrue points dependent upon placement during post championship tournament play. Points acquired are credited to the parent brigade. The brigade with the most points at the end of the calendar year is deemed the Commander's Cup champion. Based upon input from participants, the intramural sports offered during the calendar year may change, or increase, each successive year.

Another competitive avenue is the varsity sports program.

This program is designed to provide higher level competition, above intramurals, to active-duty service-members. Post teams have participated in the Southwest Military Basketball League, consisting of several Air Force teams from south Texas to northwest Missouri. The Fort Sill Gunners rugby team participates in the Texas Rugby Union and competes in both the 15s and 7s seasons. Currently, our men's softball team participates in the City of Lawton Park and Recreation League, as well as several tournaments sanctioned by the Amateur Softball Association, National Softball Association and the U.S. Slo-Pitch Softball Association.

The branch also strives to provide recreational sporting opportunities for spouses and civilians of the Lawton-Fort Sill community and Southwest Oklahoma through partnering with the Fort Sill Co-op program.

This program provides opportunities for units and area businesses to develop professional relationships through sports and provides opportunities for the branch to showcase its facilities and increase partnering opportunities.

Other activities or events that are offered include the Body vs. Earth Triathlon and the Hills of Hell Mountain Bike Event. Both events are open to the public and draw people from Oklahoma, Texas and other surrounding states. However, both events have drawn participants from as far away as New Jersey and South Dakota.

I believe the fitness and aquatics branch personnel have a solid foundation, however, I know they will always listen to suggestions for improvements to post facilities or program offerings. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, call 442-3269.