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July 7, 2011
AS THE serious business of the Defence squash champi-
onships approaches, CPL Craig Baldwin just knew those
orange and yellow socks would come back to haunt him.
He wore them in the opening round of the Arafura
Games squash tournament in May.
To be fair, all the members of the men's team did.
But it was a failed experiment.
"The socks only lasted one match because nobody
liked playing in them," CPL Baldwin said.
And, if his luck had been in, nobody outside squash
circles would ever have known.
Unfortunately for CPL Baldwin, representatives of
this newspaper attended that first game and his image
was captured for posterity.
Fortunately, for him, we did not use the photograph at
the time. We did not even notice the socks. Sheesh, what
self-respecting editor looks at feet, for goodness sake?
But CPL Baldwin's fortunes took another turn, this
time very much for the worst, when we delved into the
files for the photo to illustrate the Defence national titles
preview -- and came up with the incriminating sock
One thing's for sure. CPL Baldwin, of RAAF Base
Amberley, will go for a more conservative look at the
Defence titles at RAAF Base Williamtown from August
CPL Baldwin won the title in 2008 and was runner-
up in 2009.
Last year he was beaten in the semis in a tough five-
set match against SGT Darryl Ferguson, of the Defence
Explosive Ordnance Training School in Sydney.
"I have been training hard to hopefully go one better
this year and make the final -- although there are a few good
young players coming through who will prove extremely
tough competition if they are available to attend."
For more information on the ADF titles, contact SGT
Anthony Griffin, email@example.com or (02)
4034 6180); or Craig Ambler, craig.ambler@defence.
gov.au or (02) 6933 8575). For general Defence squash
information, check out http://intranet.defence.gov.au/pspg/
Sock it to them -- for a limited time only
POWER AND THE FASHION: CPL Craig
Baldwin like we've never seen him before,
resplendent in those socks (and shoelaces)
at the Arafura Games. Photo: AB James Whittle
CPL Zenith King
LESS than a year ago Olympic Trap
Shooter LAC Matthew Stokes was not
even on the radar of competing at the
Olympic Games -- now he has the top two
contenders in his sights.
Mind you, they will take some catch-
ing.Sitting at No. 1 and 2 is Michael
Diamond and Adam Vella. Both men are
Olympic medallists, ranked in the top 10
in the world.
LAC Stokes, of RAAF Base
Edinburgh, has moved up to equal No. 3
with Michael McNabb but he knows full
well that only the top two seeds will be
selected for the Olympics.
To overtake them, he would have
to shoot very high scores consistently.
"At the moment I am probably two
or three targets per event off the leaders,
and to be selected I would have to close
that margin," he said.
"I really want to improve and shoot
well enough to catch the top guys."
In November last year, LAC Stokes
had not shot enough events to earn a
ranking but he has placed second and
third in his last two competitions.
LAC Stokes began taking trap shoot-
ing seriously after a series of successful
competitions in 2010.
He started shooting when he was 10
but did not shoot the Olympic discipline
until he was 18.
"The first Australia Cup I competed
in, I shot 119/125 and placed second.
This was the first time I had shot a big
score but it was at my home ground so I
put it down to a fluke and let it be.
"When I made the South Australian
state team and competed at the national
championships in November, and was
in contention in both events, I decided
to really have a crack and see what I
LAC Stokes said he felt like he was
improving with each outing.
"Before the start of an event I try to
remind myself that the targets I'm about
to shoot are the exact same targets I have
shot in practice, nothing has changed.
"Also I know I have to concentrate
100 per cent on every target. You only
get so many events a year and it is
important to perform well in as many as
LAC Stokes will compete at the
Australia Cup in Brisbane in July.
Stokes with his
He is going up
with a bullet.
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