Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps kicked off the first-ever Imjin Cup competition with a 5K run around their home at Imjin Barracks
Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps kicked off the first-ever Imjin Cup competition with a 5K run around their home at Imjin Barracks, pitting the branches of the headquarters, the ARRC Support Battalion and 1 (UK) Signals Brigade against each other in what will be a year-long competition.
The Imjin Cup is made up of six team events designed to build camaraderie throughout the station, and test the teams’ fitness, sports ability, as well as their military proficiency.
"When I first arrived at the ARRC, I noticed the absence of something that brings the headquarters, the Support Battalion and the Signals Brigade together, so I thought I’d try and organise something that revolves around teamwork, core military disciplines like shooting and fitness,” said British Captain Ricky Gayfer, a Battle Captain in the ARRC G3 Branch, who was behind the creation of the cup. "It will be six events over the year for a trophy at the end of it which I hope will continue on after I’m gone.”
After today’s run the remaining events are, a basketball tournament, march and shoot event, a football tournament, a navigational exercise and finally the ARRC gun run. Scores are kept for each event and if the turnout for today’s run was any indication, the competition is already looking fierce.
"I wasn’t expecting as many people as I saw today, I think we have in excess of 150 runners,” he said. "In addition to healthy competition, the events are also intended to improve readiness through physical activity and build esprit de corps for the co-located units, something the new ARRC Command Sergeant Major WO1 Allan Ridler has made his priority.
"There’s an element of competition and to see so much of the headquarters come out and compete, were all together, all doing the same thing, it also builds that esprit de corps,” he said.
Events like this give some of the junior soldiers, both in rank and age to show their abilities to the others competing.
"This is where our soldiers can show their strengths,” said WO1 Ridler. "There’s no rank out there and 5k certainly feels longer as you get older, so it’s an opportunity for the younger guys to show their talents and lead by example.”
The next event, the basketball tournament, will be held in the coming months, giving all the soldiers of Imjin Barracks a chance to improve their skills and fitness, not just for the competition, but also the ARRC’s readiness as they continue their role in the NATO Response Force this year.
"Being physically ready is important within the headquarters and the station and I think competition is healthy,” WO1 Ridler said. "It’s also nice to have a break from work, where you can come out and take part in different events, enjoying sport, being physically active and leading a healthy lifestyle.”
"I think its very important and it’s great we hold these events,” he added.