Home' Air Force News : March 15th 2012 Contents 27
March 15, 2012
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"The competition was fantastic
and highlights how important sport
is to rehabilitation and recovery,"
FSGT Benfer said.
The Australian team includ-
ed amputees, a double amputee,
members who have experienced
traumatic brain injury and other
The competition was organised
by the US Marine Corps' Wounded
Warrior Regiment and included
more than 300 military personnel
from eight countries.
FSGT Benfer said sport had
been critical to his rehabilitation
and recovery since the accident,
soon after returning from deploy-
"Being competitive in sport
keeps you fit and healthy which is
an important part of our rehabilita-
tion," he said.
He said he was left humbled
by the courage of other coalition
soldiers with severe injuries and
wounds who battled adversity on a
"It was really humbling how
these soldiers, with such injuries
and wounds, are always smiling
and never complaining about their
situation -- just getting on with
their lives," he said.
FSGT Benfer, who is posted
to RAAF Wagga as a PTI, said
he hoped to compete in the event
again next year because competi-
tive sport was an important part
of the rehabilitation and recovery
Veterans' Affairs Minister
Warren Snowdon welcomed home
the athletes at Sydney Airport, say-
ing the seven ADF participants had
brought great pride to Australia
and their respective services with
their sporting achievements.
"This competition is about
overcoming adversity, and the
ADF team has worked hard, shown
determination and in many events,
has come out on top," he said.
Mr Snowdon said the team's
involvement in these trials was
part of the ADF Paralympic Sports
Program, a clinical rehabilitation
initiative that uses adaptive sport to
optimise functional independence,
physical fitness and promote posi-
tive self image.
"Their rehabilitation and activi-
ties such as Exercise Wounded
Warrior aids in bringing them back
to the enjoyable and quality lives
that we all expect to live," he said.
"The team members have
faced a range of major challenges
since sustaining their injuries, but
Defence is committed to support-
ing our injured personnel and has a
full range of programs in place for
them and their families."
Joy comes after terrible accident
A REAL BLAST: Aside from his sporting prowess, FSGT Tony Benfer is a pretty handy didgeridoo
player. The ADF team took a didge over to the US and FSGT Benfer, who says he can circulate
his breath for three minutes, played it at every event where an Australian competed or received a
medal at a ceremony. Don't believe us? Then check this video out with him playing at the wheelchair
ADSTA triathletes come out in force
CPL Mark Doran
AIR FORCE athletes hit 2012 run-
ning when the Australian Defence
Sports Triathlon Association
(ADSTA) athletes competed in
the Geelong Multisport Festival
on February 12, followed by the
Jervis Bay Running Festival at
Huskisson from February 18-19.
The ADF members were com-
peting against some of the quick-
est professional and age group ath-
letes in the world, including current
PLTOFF Kendall Dransfield
was the eighth-fastest ADSTA com-
petitor in the Olympic Distance
Triathlon at Geelong with a time
of 2hr 26min 6sec for the 1500m
swim, 40km ride and a 10km run
PLTOFF Dransfield said he
played mainly soccer before he was
posted to ADFA in 2012 when he
started competing in triathlons.
"There is just something about
racing -- it's a lot of fun and all
the hard work you put into train-
ing pays off on race day," PLTOFF
"I am still finding my feet and
am training for six days a week,
which could involve a swim, bike
ride and a run on one day.
"I was a bit disappointed with
my run at Geelong but I did well on
the bike, maybe a bit too well, as I
paid for it on the run. About half-
way through I started feeling a bit
lazy and just had to remind myself
to run faster."
PLTOFF Dransfield's next
events include the Batemans Bay
Sprint Distance Triathlon on March
31. FLTLT Timothy Smith joined
more than 3500 athletes at
Huskisson and placed second in the
ADSTA Sprint Championships with
his time of 1:18.07.
Having competed in triathlons
for the past 10 years, FLTLT Smith
said it was an interesting sport
because it had the three different
disciplines which he also enjoyed
and it was a good way to keep fit.
"The best part of the sport is
not the training, it is the competing
against a lot of athletes," FLTLT
He is now preparing for the
Sydney Olympic Distance Triathlon
(1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km
run) on April 15.
May at the
CPL Melanie Schinkel
SNOWBOARDER FLTLT Amanda
Gosling won two titles and achieved
several other podium positions against
the British military on the slopes of
France in January.
She was the sole RAAFie on
a tri-service team of 21 from the
Australian Defence Alpine Snowsports
Association which participated in the
biennial Exercise Alpine Challenge. On
the international tour, she trained in
Italy's Aosta Valley and represented
the ADF in both the Royal Navy alpine
championships in Tignes, France, and
the British inter-services snowsports
championships in Meribel, France.
FLTLT Gosling, of 37SQN, was the
overall female snowboarding champion
in the 2010 British inter-services snow-
sports championships and followed
that up this year by finishing third in
the same event.
"Luck didn't go my way during a
few events this year, so I didn't do as
well as I did back in 2010," she said.
"Overall, I'm happy with how I per-
FLTLT Gosling said Exercise Alpine
Challenge was a great success.
"It was the first time we had a full
female snowboarding team, which
just goes to show that women's snow-
boarding is really starting to take off in
the ADF," she said.
At Tignes, FLTLT Gosling won the
parallel giant slalom and boarder cross
and then finished second in the slope-
In the Meribel competition she was
second in the both the parallel giant
slalom and slopestyle events, and fin-
ished third in the category for overall
"It was a tight battle for first place
during the boarder cross event in
Tignes. SGT Bianca Kaden and I are
known rivals at ADF championships
back home. We battled it out and it was
a very close race -- she was extremely
tough to beat," she said.
"We competed against each other
again in the Meribel championship
finals. The race was held at night but
the slope was lit up like a football
field. We could hear the other skiers
and boarders who weren't competing
cheering us on from the bottom of the
slope -- a pretty amazing experience."
She said the most exciting event
she competed in during both competi-
tions was slopestyle.
"I had only competed in this event
once before in 2010 and it's an event
we don't hold in our service competi-
tions. We really liked the way the
British ran the event and we're planning
to introduce it into our ADF competi-
tions this year."
FLTLT Gosling will not contest Air
Force's championships at Mt Hotham
in Victoria from July 30 to August 5
because she will be deployed.
The best performers at the Air
Force championships will be selected
to compete in the national inter-service
competition at Perisher in NSW from
August 6 to 10.
For more information, visit the RAAF Alpine
Sports Association website on the DRN.
Royal Navy alpine championships
Boarder female parallel giant slalom: FLTLT
Amanda Gosling 1.
Skier male giant slalom: LCDR Daniel Crocker 2.
Skier female giant slalom: LCPL Zoey Pepper 2,
CPL Kris Rayner 3.
Boarder cross female: FLTLT Amanda Gosling 1,
SGT Bianca Kaden 2.
Skier male Super-G: LCDR Daniel Crocker 1.
Skier female Super-G: MAJ Claire Baker 1, LCPL
Zoey Pepper 3.
Boarder female slopestyle: SGT Bianca Kaden 1,
FLTLT Amanda Gosling 2.
Skier male slalom: LMDR Daniel Crocker 1.
Skier female slalom: LCPL Zoey Pepper 2, Claire
British inter-services snowsports
Boarder female parallel giant slalom: FLTLT
Amanda Gosling 2.
Boarder cross female: SGT Bianca Kaden 3.
Boarder female slopestyle: FLTLT Amanda
Skier male slalom: LCDR Daniel Crocker 3.
BEST OF THE ADF PARTICIPANTS
POWDER UP: FLTLT Amanda Gosling during the female snowboarder
parallel giant slalom event at the Royal Navy alpine championships.
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