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'Combat Zone 2023' invites Virginia Beach athletes to lace up and compete for the community

On September 23, the event will feature sports tournaments, fitness competitions, raffles, fundraiser challenges, tug-of-war and other games.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Game Day is coming to the Virginia Beach Field House, and the community is invited to compete. 

Armor of God Wellness, a Virginia Beach-based center focused on athletes' mental wellness, is holding a new sporting event on September 23 to benefit the community: "Combat Zone 2023." 

David Richardson and his sister founded Armor of God to help athletes strengthen their mental performance and work on the barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. Richardson said Combat Zone 2023 was created to bring community together and support inclusion.

"I've been through a lot. I'm a recovering addict. I've been through prison and I've been through loss of a fiancé, a child. I've been through a lot and so has my sister, and I think that's kind of where the overall passion comes from, in this and the community," Richardson said. "I know the community has gone through the same thing... it's just to create a platform and say hey, we're all together."

The Special Olympics of Virginia will get all of the charitable proceeds. A portion of the event will also raise funds for Vigilant Watch, an organization assisting first responders, and the Virginia Beach Fire Foundation, according to a news release.  

Armor of God Wellness will also purchase gas and grocery cards to distribute to community spectators, the release said. Several businesses will also donate services, such as oil changes and health and wellness products. 

"I really, really do think that if people were to come and participate, they would leave with a different heart," Richardson said. 

Combat Zone 2023 will feature sports tournaments, fitness competitions, raffles, fundraiser challenges, tug-of-war and other games. 

Attendees should come in their gym clothes, because there are several challenges to take part in. 

The "Field of Honor" is a competition looking to help the youth community and build confidence, sportsmanship and a healthy competitive mindset. 

The challenge is a circuit involving an obstacle course and sports drills. Athletes who participate in the challenge will be entered into a raffle. There are also cash prizes for first place winners. 

The competition is also designed to provide a donation to Vigilant Watch based on the number of registrants, the release said. 

It's $15 to register in the Youth Division, $25 to register for Middle School and $30 to register for high school. 

There are also smaller competitions to participate in. The "Fundzone Mini Tournaments" include a Dart Tournament and Tug-of-War. Both are youth and adult team fundraisers. 

There will also be a basketball tournament, youth soccer and skills challenges. Special Olympics of Virginia athletes are invited to try flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball and power lifting at the event. 

General Admission tickets are required to enter the event. It's $25 per person, and includes unlimited tries in the Fundzone. When registering, people can also sign up for additional competitions with an added registration fee. 

The event will run from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. 

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