Sport brings deployed crews together

Music blared, and laughter and excited chatter filled the air as hundreds of participants battled for team bragging rights during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021’s inter-ship sports competition.

CAPTION: Teams from HMA ships Canberra, Sirius and Anzac came together for an inter-ship sports carnival on board HMAS Canberra while alongside in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021. Story by Captain Peter March. Photo by Leading Seaman Nadav Harel.

While alongside in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, HMAS Canberra was turned into a modern colosseum, hosting teams from HMA Ships Sirius and Anzac, who took part in a series of mental and physical challenges, including a giant pseudo mine map, foam roller build, jump rope, soccer ball juggling, push-ups, heaves and sit-ups.

Leading Seaman physical training instructor (PTI) Robert Pope in Canberra organised the event, which focused on building physical wellbeing and teamwork.

“With long periods of time at sea, and especially since we’re not able to get off the ship when we’re alongside, this event is really important for morale, giving people the chance to stand down,” Leading Seaman Pope said.

“It’s been a great turnout from all three ships – the people make the day; they’ve really bought into the event and that makes my job as a PTI really easy.”

With Icy Poles in generous supply to help combat the steamy tropical conditions, the competition was run on Canberra’s light vehicle deck.

Relishing the carnival-like atmosphere was Seaman Maritime Logistics-Chef Surakanya Pracha, who took the opportunity to enjoy a rare day off.

“It’s good to see friends from other ships, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when it’s unusual for us to do something like this,” Seaman Pracha said.

“Normally we’re working, so this has been a lot of fun.”

Despite some of the stations getting the better of many participants’ skill sets, the personnel were in high spirits and demonstrated good sportsmanship.

The Berserkers team from Anzac took out ultimate honours.

Lieutenant Commander Tim Craig, from The Berserkers, said he was happy to take the win and was equally as pleased with the way the event played out.

“The team had a great time and the sentiment was clearly shared by all participants from the other teams,” Lieutenant Commander Craig said.

“Contactless deployments are challenging in a number of ways, but opportunities to get off your own ship and socialise in a new environment with new faces and old friends is an important tool in managing respite and ensuring we are prepared to perform our mission.”





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