Let the games begin

Target WinnersThe Suffolk-based Target team celebrates after winning the LogistXGames, held at Northgate Logistics Center in North Suffolk on Thursday.
By Matthew Ward
Suffolk News-Herald
LogistXGames Matthew WardRon Coleman was the first competitor up in the final event of the day: the box put.
The box resting upon his outstretched palm just above his right shoulder — shot put-style, unsurprisingly — he sprinted toward the empty pallets stacked up as an obstacle.
Just before he might have barreled into the pallets, Coleman stopped on a dime and transferred the momentum he’d generated through to his catapulting arm and into the box.
With the effort, Coleman’s tendons jumped out and his eyes bulged. The box sailed through the air more than 30 feet, as the crowd that thronged the course under the high ceiling of Northgate Logistics Center cheering delightedly.
Such was the heady atmosphere of the Hampton Roads LogistXGames, held in Suffolk for the second year running and bringing together eight teams of up to 10 members, fielded by area logistics companies.
According to Lang Williams, its senior vice president in Hampton Roads, commercial real estate services firm CBRE started the games for several reasons, including to promote the importance of logistics, to recognize major logistics employers and their top employees, and to raise money for workforce development.
Williams and Scott Flanders, who manages ACE Hardware’s Suffolk redistribution center, co-chaired the event.
The games reportedly raised $10,000 for the Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation’s workforce development programs. The $8,000 from last year allowed the foundation to create an endowed workforce development scholarship.
“From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate your support of our programs, and most importantly your support of our students,” remarked Randy Betz, the college’s vice president of workforce development.
Besides the box put, other events included the pallet puzzle sprint, pallet jack relay and the pick/pack hurdle. Each event was designed to test and showcase the skills logistics workers develop.
After the box put, trophies were awarded, with Suffolk employees from Target, Expeditors International and QVC delivering the goods for first, second and third, respectively.
“The whole reason why we are here is to get everybody together as a community” and promote workforce development, Flanders said.
Williams said, “Thank you to all who participated for sticking your necks out, maybe getting embarrassed, and hopefully having some fun.”