2022 DAF Female Athlete of the Year

DVIDS – Information – DAF pronounces 2022 athletes of the yr

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The Division of the Air Power just lately introduced a physique constructing and health competitor and a three-sport adaptive athlete because the 2022 Feminine and Male Athletes of the Yr – Tech. Sgt. Evon Pennington and Grasp Sgt. Kenneth Guinn, respectively.

“Competitors in particular person and group sports activities promotes wholesome and energetic life and esprit de corps,” mentioned Randy Behr, Air Power Companies Heart DAF Health and Sports activities Department chief.

“DAF health and sports activities packages help prepared, resilient Airmen and Guardians, which not solely contributes to attaining mission success but additionally helps them obtain their private targets. Our 2022 athletes of the yr excelled in bodybuilding and adaptive sports activities, respectively, and have set the bar excessive for excellence of their aggressive fields,” he mentioned.

Pennington, a public well being specialist within the sixth Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at MacDill AFB, Florida, is powered by motivation, mentioned Col. Alvi Azad, her commander.

“She’s an authorized wellness coach who makes a speciality of diet, power coaching and cardiovascular endurance coaching and he or she conjures up different Airmen of their bodily aptitude Air Power huge,” Azad mentioned.

As an Air Power medic, Pennington mentioned bodily health is essential to her.

“Health helps with stress administration, encourages more healthy consuming habits, builds muscle and power, lifts your temper, and discourages unhealthy way of life selections,” Pennington mentioned.

“Being a medic generally requires lengthy work hours and responding on non-duty days so it may be tough to develop and cling to a health regime when your schedule is unpredictable,” she mentioned. “Health has been part of my life for the previous eight to 9 years as a result of I practice within the morning earlier than reporting to work.”

In the course of the award interval, Pennington gained the Girls’s Physique Bodybuilding competitors and was topped because the champion of the “Legion’s Sport Competition.” She additionally certified as a 2022 Olympian and competed within the televised world championships in December inserting twelfth on the planet for girls’s physique.

At her set up, she developed a weight reduction program for 2 Airmen, saving their careers as they elevated their bodily health check by greater than 15 factors and misplaced greater than 80 kilos. She additionally supplied 75 health workshops to assist greater than 160 Airmen and new nursing mothers who had been fighting weight reduction.

Whereas attending the noncommissioned officer academy, she led 76 of her friends at school initiatives, bodily health and digital studying, and piloted a human efficiency program, making certain security, and correct kind and approach, in accordance with her award nomination.

Her efforts on the NCOA earned her class the “Match Flight” achievement and her the John L. Levitow award as prime graduate.

“After I discovered I used to be nominated for this award, I felt honored past phrases. Bodybuilding is an artwork and has a magnificence that isn’t all the time understood by many. When it was introduced that I gained I felt seen, appreciated and understood by everybody concerned,” she mentioned.

As this yr’s feminine athlete of the yr, Pennington mentioned she hopes to proceed to encourage and educate different Airmen on handy, life like methods to higher themselves via more healthy consuming and actions to assist them enhance bodily and emotionally.

“My resiliency is excessive as a result of my health exercise drives my vitality, power, temper and response after I’m on obligation. As a health mentor, I get pleasure from instructing others more healthy health and diet habits they’ll use in their very own health journey,” she mentioned.

Pennington, who was beforehand chosen because the 2022 Air Mobility Command Feminine Athlete of the Yr, thanked her public well being group and leaders at MacDill.

“With out setting life like targets, engaged on time administration and inspiring development, it will not be unattainable for me to have made it this far in bodybuilding within the navy. Something is feasible when you’ve gotten a superb help system,” she mentioned.

Guinn is the thirtieth Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight’s high quality assurance part chief at Vandenberg Area Power Base, California.

He represented the Air Power and Staff USA at a number of nationwide and worldwide occasions in 2022, competing on three adaptive sports activities groups for the Air Power Wounded Warrior Program – wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

“He was chosen to be the general Air Power group captain for the 2022 Air Power Wounded Warrior Program for the adaptive sports activities season,” mentioned Lt. Col. Nicholas Van Elsacker, Guinn’s commander on the thirtieth Civil Engineer Squadron. “He’s additionally an energetic mentor and coach for this system the place he transforms newly wounded, in poor health or injured members into athletes and was hand-selected to assist mentor the Ukrainian navy’s newly shaped wheelchair basketball group.

“His fight accidents, restoration and athletic outcomes even bought the eye of the ESPN community and he was featured in a video article that was seen around the globe,” Van Elsacker added.

“From an early age, I used to be all the time into sports activities and health, however as soon as I joined the EOD neighborhood, I realized that bodily health may actually be the distinction between life and demise,” Guinn mentioned. “Throughout all of my fight deployments, health has been a driving issue towards our success and skill to assist others whereas not being a legal responsibility on the battlefield.”

Though his job as an EOD technician could be very bodily demanding, Guinn mentioned, “you do not have to be on the frontlines to have that mentality. Health performs a key position in our total wellness and solely strengthens the opposite pillars of resilience. Our job within the occupation of arms may put any of us in these conditions at any given second, so it is very important be match and prepared always.

In the course of the award interval, he was chosen because the wheelchair rugby group captain for Staff USA on the worldwide Invictus Video games in The Hague, Netherlands. Whereas on the video games, he performed in the principle ball handler place and led the event in scoring to assist his group advance to the gold medal spherical in opposition to the UK. On the finish of the spherical, Staff USA gained the gold and Invictus Video games Patron Prince Harry referred to the competitors as “the best match in Invictus historical past,” in accordance with his award nomination.

His Invictus Video games wheelchair basketball group additionally went undefeated throughout pool play and gained gold because the defending champions. His sitting volleyball group gained a bronze medal. It was the primary time in 4 years that Staff USA’s sitting volleyball group gained a medal on the video games.

Guinn was additionally one among 4 legacy members on the 40-person roster for the 2022 Division of Protection Warrior Video games the place he helped his rugby group advance via the event undefeated and win the gold in opposition to the U.S. Navy.

Just like the Invictus Video games, his DOD Warrior Video games Basketball Staff performed for the gold in opposition to the Military and gained to proceed their three-year undefeated streak. After a three-set win over Ukraine, his sitting volleyball group additionally gained gold.

This was the primary time in DOD Warrior Video games historical past {that a} group has gained in all three group sports activities.

Lastly, Guinn was chosen to play within the North American Wheelchair Basketball League Championships the place his group performed a number of skilled, membership and paralympic groups. They went on to defeat the Division II champions and left as a nationally ranked group.

When Guinn obtained the decision from his commander to congratulate him on profitable athlete of the yr, he mentioned it was very surreal.

“I by no means thought that I might be named the most effective athlete within the Air Power,” he mentioned. “As a group sport athlete, we do not win alone, a lot like this award, I did not win it alone. If it weren’t for them, I by no means would have had the chance to symbolize the Air Power and Staff USA. I chalk this up as a win for my Air Power, Military, Navy and Marine Corps teammates I’ve performed with for years, and I genuinely want I may share it with them too.”

The grasp sergeant additionally expressed his because of “flight members for choosing up the workload whereas I used to be away for coaching and competitions, and my management for permitting me to symbolize the DAF and DOD.

“I might additionally like to present a particular shoutout to my brothers, the Sinister Six, who took me beneath their wing years in the past within the Air Power Wounded Warrior program and mentored me. If it weren’t for them, I would not be the participant, teammate and good friend that I’m at this time,” Guinn mentioned.

Date Taken: 04.01.2023
Date Posted: 04.04.2023 12:11
Story ID: 441826

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