The thought of hurling toilet paper between shipmates might seem strange to some – but for the crew of HMAS Brisbane, it was the perfect idea for a friendly game at sea.
CAPTION: Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Melita Tennant prepares to throw the ball during a Bin Ball competition held on-board HMAS Brisbane, off the coast of Queensland for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Story by Lieutenant Sarah Rohweder. Photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.
In their transit along the Queensland coast for Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21), crew members from Brisbane put together a program of activities designed to boost morale, develop teamwork and provide some down time.
Among the activities was a sport known as bin ball.
The game was part of Brisbane’s Sunday Sea – a name given to days where most of the crew is able to stand down from their normal duties. Other activities included yoga and trivia.
The game is simple. Two teams toss a makeshift ball – in this case, made from a roll of toilet paper wrapped in tape – between teammates within a marked playing area. The aim is to score on their opponent’s net at each end. The team with the most points wins. Simple.
Taking their cue from Brisbane’s nickname ‘Steel Cat Pride’, the teams registered under the names ‘Tigers’, ‘Snow Leopards’, ‘Lions’ and ‘Panthers’.
The game ran for three hours with more than 130 personnel taking part, including on going and off going watch keepers.
Brisbane’s Personal Training Instructor, Leading Seaman Corey Evans, said the game provided the crew with respite while enhancing personal and professional development.
“It helps develop team and individual skills, contributes to the maintenance of physical fitness and strengthens the will to win,” Leading Seaman Evans said.
“It also promotes mental and physical resilience, enhances personal wellbeing, motivates determination and reinforces Defence’s values and behaviours.”
United States Army Air Defence Artillery Fire Control Officer, Chief Warrant Officer Class 2 Robert Schenck, was embarked in Brisbane’s Fleet Fighter Control Element during TS21, and took part in the events.
“I really enjoyed the Sunday Sea day, it gave me a chance to really interact with the crew and feel like a participant in all the activities,” Chief Warrant Officer Class 2 Schenck said.
“I enjoyed Bin Ball a lot. It was a different experience and I believe it helped build upon the alliance and my experience on the ship.”
The crew will enjoy more respite activities in the coming days before heading to their namesake city of Brisbane, then returning to Fleet Base East in Sydney.