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October 13, 2011
CPL Kirsten Nicolle has some
unfinished business with the moon-
lit Hawkesbury River and the Arrow
Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation
will be the beneficiary.
On October 22-23 she will pad-
dle a single kayak in the 111km
Hawkesbury Canoe Classic from
Windsor to Brooklyn in NSW. The
journey will take 13 to 14 hours.
Last year CPL Nicolle, of
37SQN, managed to paddle eight
hours in a double kayak in the race
before succumbing to a stomach
bug.Nevertheless she still raised $4136
for Arrow, which conducts research
and development into bone marrow
This year she has ratcheted it up,
hoping to raise $10,000.
CPL Nicolle, who has been train-
ing three times a week and building
up her strength in a number of events,
is leaving nothing to chance.
"I've got new equipment for the
race this year including a lighter pad-
dle and new comfortable seat for the
kayak," she said.
"I have land crew that will be fol-
lowing me through the checkpoints
along the way with extra food, water
and clothes as I need it.
"The tide is expected to change
about halfway through the race so for
a significant portion I will be facing
the uphill battle of paddling against
The race starts at 4pm and contin-
ues through the night.
Aside from all the other paddlers,
CPL Nicolle won't actually be alone.
She is taking an MP3 player
hooked up to a waterproof speaker
system and will be armed with a
broad range of music from the likes
of Bruce Springsteen, Adele, U2 and
Mumford & Sons.
Springsteen, for one, is known to
be very good Dancing In The Dark.
To sponsor CPL Nicolle, go to www.
$10,000 AIM: CPL
Kirsten Nicolle has
borrowed this kayak for
the Hawkesbury Canoe
Classic. She raced
her own kayak in the
Canberra marathon but
it's too unstable for this
length of race.
Coach returns. Now,
where were we?
WHEN SGT Geoff Gillard was last in
charge of the Air Force open men's soccer
team, his charges scored two wins and a
draw in the ADF championship but was
pipped for the title by Army, which had
scored an extra goal in the tournament.
That was 2008 and SGT Gillard
remembers it well. One lousy goal.
Three years on and he is back. He
has been appointed by the Air Force
Football Association as coach of the
open men's team which will contest the
ADF championships in Sydney from
October 28 to November 11.
"I'm looking to keep that undefeated
run [from 2008] going this year and if
we can do that then we will be right in
the mix to win it," he said.
SGT Gillard, who works at Victoria
Barracks in Melbourne, is a household
name in Air Force soccer circles.
After a year playing in England as
a teenager, he made his debut for Air
Force in 1997, captained the team to the
ADF title five times and captained the
ADF combined team for four years.
He retired from the open team in
2007 but continues to play for the Air
Force over-35s team.
Thankfully, this year the shortest gap
between playing and coaching will be
on day one of the ADF titles, which will
give him ample time to shower and get
his mind into coaching mode.
Last year wasn't such a good one for
the Air Force open team at the ADF titles.
"We had a good side but the boys
just couldn't put it together when it mat-
tered. That happens in football but we
put it behind us and 2011 is a new year.
"The Air Force is going through a
transition stage as we've lost a lot of
experience but there are some really
good young players coming through
who have the ability to create a domi-
nation in the years to come. It all starts
now, though, and hopefully as coach I
can get the ball rolling."
SGT Gillard has not let the grass
grow under his feet these past three
"Since 2008 my coaching experience
has increased and, stepping back from a
playing role, so has my appreciation for
the technical and development side of the
"I've gained experience, not just
coaching seniors but juniors as well to
give myself a full spectrum in the role.
Hopefully in the short time I have with the
players I can impart not only the knowl-
edge I've gleaned by playing the game
for 30 years, but also what I've learnt over
the past five years in coaching."
More information is available on the AFFA
website at http://intranet.defence.gov.au/
raafweb/sites/RAAFNSA or from FLTLT Ben
FLASHBACK TO MARCH 3: Air
Force News carried a feature on
SGT Geoff Gillard.
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