By CURTIS PULLIAM
It’s time to get your game face on.
The YMCA Community Cup kicked off its 25th year with a torch-lighting ceremony at the Champion Street YMCA.
For Ashley DiLisio of Farmers National Bank, it’s more than fun and games.
“It’s fun to get to watch people do things they don’t generally do like tug-of-war or the obstacle course,” DiLisio said. “It brings out the lighter side, especially since we’re bankers.”
It is Farmers National Bank’s fourth year in fielding a team and DiLisio has been a part of all of them.
“You get to know your co-workers in a new light,” she said.
The teams that take part in the cup are people from local companies and their spouses. Twenty-one teams will compete for the Community Cup.
This year’s cup has many different sporting competitions ranging from bocce to bowling to swimming.
“One goal is to develop the awareness and benefits of physical fitness,” said Community Cup director Jenn Quinlan. “We also like to foster teamwork and dedication. We want to build up the comradery within the companies.”
All of the events take place over the course of the next month with one or two events each weekend.
DiLisio is ready for the contest to start.
“It’s all in good spirit but we’re definitely intense and try are hardest,” DiLisio said. “It definitely brings out the competitive side of you. It’s fun to feel like you’re young again and be able to do this.”
Every team does not have to partake in all the events, but Quinlan suggests they should.
“It’s totally up to the teams, but if you’re in it to win, you are better off participating in every event and finishing last then not competing at all,” Quinlan said.
There are a three different divisions, Red, White and Blue. The divisions are categorized by company size, past participation and performance.
The teams will be awarded points based on their finishes in the activities and the team with the most points wins.
The final day, Saturday, Sept. 6, will feature four events including an obstacle course and a double elimination tug-of-war tournament.
“It’s kind of the earmark of the Community Cup,” Quinlan said. “It’s crazy how competitive it is, actually.”
“Last year I was pregnant so I couldn’t actually tug,” DiLisio said. “It’s fun to watch other people and their facial expressions, to see people put all that effort into it. Those two [obstacle course and tug-of-war] are my favorite events of the whole thing.”
Marisa Litch, captain of the Mahoning County Children Services team, enjoys competing and being around all the other people she works with in a new environment.
“It really brings us together as an agency,” Litch said. “It allows us to be creative in other ways than the seriousness of our jobs.”
Anthony Jannone, team captain of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities team, is excited to participate.
“It’s like a form of the Olympics,” Jannone said. “I think the event helps to boost team [company] morale, too.”
Quinlan says that’s part of what the cup is aimed at doing.
“Our third goal is to enhance the community spirit throughout the Youngstown area,” Quinlan said.