Home' Air Force News : April 14th 2011 Contents 31
April 14, 2011
NEW Zealand is not the only target on
the near horizon in Defence netball.
Two Air Force players -- SQNLDR
Paul Fournier, of AFHQ in Canberra,
and CPL Michael Gestrin, of RAAF
Base Williamtown -- will figure in an
ADF All Stars mixed gender team con-
testing the Australian titles at Penrith
Sports Stadium in Sydney from April
Coach Adele-Marie Caesar sees a
chance to catch the other teams flat-
footed because the ADF has not been
able to field a team in the competition
for the past several years.
"The team is excited and positive,"
she says. "This is an elite competition
which provides some wonderful oppor-
"The players will need to harness
their energy and work together to
deliver championship quality netball,
and bring home the title. We hope to
slip under the radar and surprise a few
teams with what we can do."
The Australian championship
games will overlap with the Australian
Defence Netball Association (ADNA)
women's games against the New
Zealand Defence Force on April 18, 21
The Air Force representatives for
those games are FLGOFF Catherine
Ferry, CPL Wendy Holt and LACW
Lisa Merriman, of RAAF Base
Willliamtown, and CPL Rachael
Gorton, of RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Their coach, CPL Mike Kiker, is
excited. "If the Kiwis bring their best
they will be very hard to beat, but I have a
few tricks up my sleeve and the ADF girls
are extremely keen," he says.
"The rivalry between the ADF and
NZ Defence netball teams is the same
as any Australia vs Kiwi encounter:
tough and extremely competitive.
"The Kiwi Defence team won the
last game we played about four years
ago and that was a very bitter pill to
swallow. The years have not made it
any easier for the girls that were
involved and a few are still playing."
ADNA president WGCDR Nick
Osborne is also excited about the feast
of netball coming up and the chance to
put the spotlight on his sport.
But, ahem, the spotlight also falls on
that Kiwi accent of his.
Before joining the RAAF, WGCDR
Osborne, now XO 78WG, was a mem-
ber of the Royal New Zealand Air
Force from 1981 to 2001.
So he can perhaps be forgiven if he
slips up and cheers for the wrong team
during the Trans-Tasman series.
"Don't worry, I'll be supporting the
Australians," WGCDR Osborne laughs.
A coach and player on the NSW
mixed team for the past three years,
WGCDR Osborne said he is look-
ing forward to a bit of friendly rival-
ry between the team and hopes this
would be the start of a more permanent
arrangement, perhaps once every three
or four years.
A NZ Navy team played an ADF
team in Sydney in September.
In a torrid contest, the Australians
won by two goals after being down by
10 at three-quarter time.
LACW Merriman, CPL Holt and
CPL Gorton all played in that game.
"The Navy side was very strong,"
LACW Merriman says.
So, no one will be surprised if the
NZ Defence team is an even tougher
nut to crack -- least of all coach CPL
"I expect the three tests will be
extremely tough, close encounters," CPL
"I'm sure the Kiwis will have a very
strong team and I'm sure they will be
going all out to knock us off.
"There is great camaraderie and
friendship between the two nations
so this will give us a chance to show
the Kiwis a bit of Australia. But that
camaraderie and friendship always ends
when the teams cross the line on to the
The ADNA women's team is due
to arrive at Randwick gym on April 15
and will have five two-hour training
sessions before the first test.
The mixed team will go into a three-
day training camp at Randwick Barracks
on April 20, where they can expect 7½
hours a day of training drills, practice and
sessions mapping out their strategy.
During the tournament they will
play at least two games a day and then
return to camp for game analysis and
team recovery so it will be an arduous
ADF All Stars prepare for Australian netball titles
Paralympics quest comes to RMC
matches against New
in Sydney on April
in Albury on April
ETSA Park in
Adelaide on April
ADF All Stars
Stadium in Sydney
from April 23 to
CPL Zenith King
THE expertise of the ADF Para-
lympic Sports Program (ADFP-
SP) was harnessed by the Austral-
ian Paralympic Committee (APC)
at RMC on March 28 and 29.
The ADFPSP team put 50
APC coaches and support staff
through their paces with a series
of exercises as part of the build-
up to the 2012 Paralympics in
Five ADF athletes recently re-
turned with a swag of medals from
the Wounded Warrior trial games
in the USA.
ADFPSP executive member
LTCOL Richard Mallet said the
two-day congress at RMC was
designed to build upon previous
foundation work by the APC.
This was the second activity
conducted between the ADFPSP
and APC and was part of an
ongoing collaboration between
the two organisations.
ON TARGET: SQNLDR
Paul Fournier who is
one of two Air Force
players in the ADF All
Stars team which will
contest the mixed-
gender titles in this
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
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