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Big Cypress Reservation to host strength challenge

Quenton Cypress has organized the Big Cypress strength challenge to promote physical fitness among tribal members. (Courtesy Seminole Media Productions)

Quenton Cypress, the Seminole Tribe’s community engagement manager at the Heritage and Environment Resources Office (HERO), has organized a strength challenge on the Big Cypress Reservation for tribal members and their friends. The competitive event is scheduled to take place Dec. 10 in an area near the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum’s parking lot.

Tylor Tigertail, HERO’s community engagement coordinator, is assisting Cypress. He said the strength challenge is the first of its kind for the tribe and the hope is to make it an annual event.

“We tried to make the challenges based on Seminole culture and things we would traditionally do around the camp,” Tigertail said.

There are four events designed for two-person teams: the deer run, gator pull, water bucket carry and the chickee build. The competition is open to all tribal members and teams can include one non-tribal member or a member of another tribe.

The event has four age divisions – 16 to 18, 19 to 34, 35 to 49, and 50 and up – within four categories – women’s beginner and intermediate and men’s beginner and intermediate.

Tigertail said while the competition is open to varying fitness levels, he and Cypress encourage those who register to be moderately fit as the challenges are difficult.

Cypress said he hopes the event will bring the community together and promote physical activity. He does physical training with the Big Cypress Recreation Department and has previously competed in Ironman and Strongman competitions.

The To-Pee-Kee-Ke Yak-Ne Community Center is sponsoring the strength challenge.

Winners will receive trophies and cash prizes. There will also be food and refreshments. The deadline to register is Dec. 2.

For more information and to register, contact Cypress by phone at (863) 677-1598 or email

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at