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May 4, 2012 RT
BACK: CPL Sarah
the Mt Stromlo
downhill track in
left, happy at
Photos: CPL Janine
Fabre and CPL Glen
CPL Sarah Booth will crown her return to the daredevil
sport of downhill mountainbiking next month when she
joins an ADF team on a trip to England.
When she crashed into a pine tree on a mountain in
Canada last July, CPL Booth broke 10 ribs, punctured
a lung, split her right shoulder blade and fractured her
CPL Booth, an aircraft technician at 2SQN, RAAF
Base Williamtown, now carries around two titanium
plates and five screws she didn't have before.
But in March she made a winning return to the sport
in her comeback race and is determined not to hold
"I've recovered from most of my injuries," she said
in an email from Malaysia where she was deployed for
Exercise Bershama Shield. "I have a few niggly hip mus-
cles and the sensation of nerve damage is still there.
"But, gratefully, I am not experiencing any mental
blocks and have attacked the tracks as if I hadn't had a
That's good news for the ADF team which will com-
pete in both the British inter-service cycling titles and a
massive 24-hour race called Mountain Mayhem, which
attracts more than 3000 riders to northern England.
Although the team is representing the ADF, all 10
members are RAAFies. Full story on ADF UK trip, Page 23
-- Page 23
IT MUST be in the water. The flood-
Less than two months after Wagga
battled rising waters, two people from
RAAF Base Wagga were recognised as
top players at the Defence Australian
football championships in Melbourne.
CPL Gene Wills got the Australian
Services Australian Football Association
(ASAFA) award as the Air Force's best
male player and CPL Rebekah Allen
won the female award. The awards are
judged by the game's umpires.
What is remarkable about these
selections is the teams were drawn
from bases far and wide. Yet CPLs
Wills and Allen are not just from the
same base, but from the same unit -- 1
Recruit Training Unit.
CPL Wills is a fit 35-year-old who
rucked the bulk of the two games,
against Army and Navy.
He also plays club for North
Wagga. His local ground, McPherson
Oval, and clubrooms were badly dam-
aged in the floods.
If CPL Allen's name is familiar
perhaps that's because she's also made
a name for herself in another code.
Anyone who attended the inau-
gural women's national sevens rugby
competition in Sydney just before the
Australian football carnival might
be surprised she even made it to
Melbourne to swap guernseys.
CPL Allen played in an Australian
Services Rugby Union team (made up
of Air Force, Navy and Army players)
which won their division grand final
against Papua New Guinea.
"The girls played awesome," she
said. But celebrating too hard was not
an option because she had to drive to
CPL Allen played mainly as a mid-
fielder, dropping back to halfback a
few times to help defend.
Aside from winning the ASAFA
award, she was also voted players'
player by her teammates.
"Both awards could have easily
gone to a number of players," she said
Her feat meant she had played five
games of rugby sevens and two full
games of Australian football in seven
days -- but wait, there's more.
From May 13 to 19, the Australian
Services Rugby Carnival will be
played at Victoria Barracks.
"I hope to be released to play
there," she said.
Carnival report, Page 22
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