Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heave for victory

Battles fought for sports carnival glory during Kapyong week

COMPETITION was hot during 3RAR�s recent Kapyong week sports carnival, which featured three sporting events � an athletics carnival, a swimming carnival and a battalion cross-country run.

With A Fd Bty invited to compete, unit pride was at stake, which only added to the competitiveness of 3RAR�s companies, who were also eyeing the events precious points to add to their scores for champion company at the end of the year.

But XO 3RAR Maj Kahlil Fegan said it wasn�t all about winning, and enjoying the day was equally important.

�The main objective of the sporting activities is to develop a bit of group and team cohesion in a sporting and physical environment,� he said.

�The competitions also do wonders for the morale of the soldiers as they can be quite enjoyable and highly contested.�

Kapyong week and preparation for the Kapyong parade is the only time in the battalion�s training cycle when all its soldiers are in the battalion � making up two full company groups (250-300 on parade).

It was a busy couple of days, according to Maj Gavin Keating, sports officer 3RAR, �but really the guys who did all the work were the officers who ran each of the events�.

Capt Tim Wakeling, A Bty 4 Fd Regt, ran the cross-country with more than 120 participating. Lt James Donohoe, B Coy, ran the athletics, and Lt Gavin Rudrum, mortar pl, ran the swimming carnival.

Maj Keating said the sports carnival was a great opportunity for the soldiers to get together in their company groups and compete against other companies.

He described the carnival as a critical step in building esprit de corps within the battalion। �That�s what being a soldier is all about: not everyone needs to be a star athlete, it�s not about athleticism, it�s about toughness on the battlefield,� he said।What we look for are people who are determined, who don�t give up � not necessarily people who can run the fastest. What we are looking for is battlefield toughness and things like the tug-of-war bring that out.�

Maj Keating said the airborne battle group was a very close-knit team and 3RAR considered A Fd Bty one of its own.

He said he understood A Fd Bty liked to maintain its own distinction, but that 3RAR enjoyed the best working relationship with any field battery in the Army.

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