Home' Air Force News : March 4th 2010 Contents From Back Page
If he had ended up at, say,
RAAF Base Amberley or RAAF
Base Darwin, it would have spelt
the end of his playing career.
The world championships will
be held in Manchester from July 15
to 24, and FLTLT Sheldon is one of
six long-stick defenders picked in a
23-man Australian squad.
Yes long stick. That's another
quirk of the sport -- there are three
different-sized sticks on each team.
He says he is looking forward to
the experience. During club games
in Adelaide, a typical crowd might
number 100. At the final of the last
world championships, 8000 people
watched. It was broadcast live on
US College Sports pay TV channel.
"I'm not sure what to expect.
Singing the national anthem will be
incredible," he said.
Up to 30 nations are expected to
contest the world titles. Australia is
ranked third behind Canada and the
US.FLTLT Sheldon's lacrosse
career stretches back to his pri-
mary school days in Melbourne.
"I was playing Aussie rules at
the time and wasn't very good,"
he said. "I was introduced to
lacrosse through a clinic run by
Camberwell Lacrosse Club at
Glen Iris Primary School.
"Lacrosse has a smaller field
and few players on the field, so I
was more involved in the game. The
new skills required to use a stick are
For information about the
Australian lacrosse team, visit
www.sportingpulse.com and select
lacrosse from the sports menu.
Phone: 1800 111 445
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AIR FORCE March 4, 2010
A SHIFT in focus for this year's Kapooka
Sports Series has paid dividends with num-
bers up on previous years. It has also seen
the hasty erection of netball courts to cater
for the 10 teams already registered.
Coordinator of the series CAPT Ian
Marston, from the Army Recruit Training
Centre (ARTC), said the netball courts had
been demolished as part of the construction
"We had to quickly build a couple of
temporary courts in the transport supply
company car park," he said.
Holding the event over one weekend
instead of two had been well received by
"The initial thinking was that while we
would limit people from playing in more
than one sport, we would probably get more
teams as the event would be less likely to
interrupt training and other commitments,"
Time was running out to register for this
year's series, to be held over the weekend of
March 13 and 14.
"It's by far the biggest team competition
in the ADF and we are expecting 200-plus
campers here over the weekend," CAPT
Marston said. "We have 17 Aussie rules
teams registered already, 14 rugby and
about 10 netball teams."
All events will be played at ARTC's
facilities with the Riverina Umpires
Association providing umpires for the
Aussie rules and netball.
For more information, contact ARTC on (02)
6933 8363 or email@example.com
By John Martin
FORMER WGCDR Stewart Nicol
says he is not sure how many more
Murray River Canoe Marathons
he has left in him.
He has now contested 26 of the
events, starting in 1980 when he
was a member of the PAF, when
the team was a force to be reckoned
with in the five-day 404km canoe
race from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill
starting every December 27.
Navy and Army were also fierce
competitors. They used to compete
against Air Force in a spirited inter-
service competition -- though Air
Force was way ahead, winning 18
But last December's race, for
many years a fundraiser for Red
Cross but now under the YMCA
banner, had just one PAF competitor
-- CPL Rob Schneider, of 37SQN at
RAAF Base Richmond.
He did well, coming second in
the K1 men's open (full distance) in
a time of 35hrs 3mins 14secs.
Stewart was back at the paddles
yet again, this time participating
in a relay with Air Force cadets
and staff from 412SQN (AAFC),
His passion for the sport has not
waned. He left the PAF in 1999 and
joined the reserves; now he works
as an APS employee at RAAF
In his time in the PAF, he missed
only four races. He even returned
for it when he was on an exchange
posting in Papua New Guinea.
He has to be realistic, though.
"I'm 55 this July," he said. "Last
May I slipped over while mowing
the lawn and broke my right wrist."
He said it was hard going now --
and it was not going to get any easier.
Stewart is also the secretary of
the ADF Paddle Sports Association
(APSA) and the APSA is hoping to
get all paddle sports recognised this
year as ADF-approved sport.
"The APSA is seeking approval
from the individual Services Sports
Councils before putting our request to
the Defence Sports Council," he said.
He said there are also some other
marathon paddlers at Richmond and
Laverton, though they were unavail-
able for the last race.
"Although numbers of paddlers
have fallen off over the years there
are still quite a number of marathon
canoe paddlers within Defence and
new paddlers are always welcome."
He is heartened by the cadets'
involvement. "In recent years ADF
Inter-service Canoeing has joined
PLAYERS in Air Force's over-35s rugby
team, the Mirages, will strap on the boots
again on Saturday, March 27 to play in an
ACT Veterans carnival at Portsea Field, Royal
Military College, in Canberra.
First up, they will be playing the ACT
Veterans, but the carnival will also involve
the Navy Old Salts and Army Rugby Old
For more information, contact WGCDR
David Banham on (02) 6128 4585 or david.
Set for lacrosse world titles
forces with the Air Force cadets and
staff from 412SQN," Stewart said.
"The joint contingent has bene-
fited both groups in reduced support
requirements and increased experi-
ence and knowledge.
"The cadets have been compet-
ing with us for eight years with over
20 in their team this year."
CPL Schneider was a 412QN
cadet, too -- though he never com-
peted with them. Last year's race
was his eighth. He has done one
relay, two full distances, four junior
sections and one half-marathon.
He said he was already planning
his 2010 campaign.
"At the end of the race I
felt exhausted but elated at the
achievement. At times it's a real
struggle to keep going but very
rewarding to finally cross the finish
line," he said.
"This was the second time com-
peting in that class and it was the
best time I have done.
"The canoe marathon is a huge
challenge and something to set
your year's goals to.
"There is a fantastic camarade-
rie on the river among the paddlers
and ground crew.
"There is something about the
race that keeps you coming back.
My goal is to win the open K1
class in my racing kayak."
As for being the sole Air Force
paddler at Christmas, he remains
upbeat: "I hope that more people
get involved next year so we can
continue to participate in this wor-
thy and challenging event in the
For further details on canoeing,
contact Stewart Nicol at stewart.
THE controversy caused by Australian competitors flying the
Boxing Kangaroo flag at the winter Olympics in Canada was
well and truly absent from the banks of the Murray River in
The Boxing Kangaroo was adopted by the Air Force
Canoeing team in the 1980s and it was flying proudly again.
CPL John Schneider (AAFC) said any ex-paddler would
clearly recognise it.
"It means food, cool drinks, a break, a massage and a
pep talk if the ground staff are feeling sympathetic," he said.
PUT 'EM UP
LONE STAR: CPL Rob Schneider, the only Air Force competitor in the
last race; and above left, Stew Nicol (front seat of nearest boat) and CPL
Bob Emery (rear) in 2001.
GLORY DAYS: Air
Force paddlers training
on the Yarra River in
Melbourne in 1971.
Mirages in flight
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