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May 23, 2013
FOUR Air Force competitors placed
strongly in the Defence Cross
Country Championships at Mount
Stromlo in Canberra on May 4.
Both men and women completed
the 8km course consisting of four
2km undulating loops along Mount
Stromlo's Robert De Castella Cross
Country running track.
The men's open division was
tightly contested, with first and sec-
ond place finishing within 15 sec-
onds of each other.
Air Force's OFFCDT Joshua
Fidele-West, of ADFA, took out the
title. He led from the starting gun,
setting a fast pace and finishing in
LACW Lisa James, competing
in cross country for the first time
since high-school, placed first in the
open female division and said she
was shocked with the result.
"I didn't expect to win," LACW
"I mostly do road running, but
the soft spongy grass felt so much
better on my joints."
AIRCDRE Hayden Marshall,
who placed second in the masters
male division, awarded race place
getters with their medals.
Placing second in the veteran
male division was runner and event
coordinator SGT Lance Purdon,
who recently won three Australian
Championships at the Australian
Masters Athletics Championships
in 5km, 8km and 10km events at the
SGT Purdon said in preparing
for the event, he trained four days
"This normally included 25km
runs, speed work and intervals," he
"My goal is to break the three-
hour mark on the Gold Coast
Marathon in July this year, which
is also the Defence Marathon
SGT Purdon's wife, Jodie
Barker, took out first place in the
The event was jointly hosted by
the Australian Defence Running
and Athletics Association and the
ACT YMCA Runners Club.
The Defence Cross Country champi-
onships will be held in Canberra in
May 2014. For further information on
Defence running and athletics competi-
tions, visit www.adf.coolrunning.com.au
SOUTH Sudan might seem an unlikely
place for Defence members to play a
rugby union match, but two members of
the 25-strong Defence contingent in the
country's capital of Juba have donned
jerseys for a match to benefit youths in
the war-torn nation.
With so many foreign workers help-
ing rebuild the country, an annual rugby
union match has been established to raise
money for the charity Confident Children
out of Conflict. It also constructs centres
to provide physical, social and psychoso-
cial guidance for youths.
The rugby match was held on March
9 at Juba Stadium, the home ground of
South Sudan's national football team.
LTCOL Geoff Young and SQNLDR
Mick Rouhan, deployed to the country on
Op Aslan supporting the United Nations
Mission to South Sudan, were recruited
for this year's match from the expatriate
touch football community.
Neither member expected rugby
union to be a critical part of their deploy-
SQNLDR Rouhan, who spent much
of his career as a navigator on the C-130
Hercules, said good-natured rivalry from
the South African contingent urged him
to have a go.
"It's not often you can help a charity
by playing sport, and even though I am
getting a bit vintage, I decided to volun-
teer," SQNLDR Rouhan said.
LTCOL Young and SQNLDR Rouhan
took to the field wearing red shirts for
the Warriors team, facing off against the
SQNLDR Rouhan said the scene
remained surreal as they ran out on to the
grass of Juba Stadium.
"A sound system, sponsors tents and
players hides were all provided and the
atmosphere was great," SQNLDR Rouhan
said. "The kids were dancing everywhere
having a great time.
"The local military were guarding with
AK-47s, there were vultures on the posts,
monkeys walking through the grandstands
and people from every country you could
possibly think of."
Although there were some slight rule
changes, the pair said the standard was
quite good and provided the crowd with an
"It has been over 10 years since I last
played, and I forgot not only how much
I missed playing, but how much it hurt --
they have some big boys in their forward
pack," SQNLDR Rouhan said.
"The spirit of the game and the cama-
raderie with the other players from all over
the world was something I will never for-
get; but I need another 10 years to recover."
The Australians were able to help the
Warriors to win against the Sharks, which
was followed by a jubilant post-match cel-
ebration by the kids.
ADF pair show South
Africans their union
skills in charity game
FAST FEET: OFFCDT Joshua Fidele-West finishes first in the open men's division. Inset, AIRCDRE
Hayden Marshall presents SGT Lance Purdon with his silver medal.
Setting the pace
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Warriors player SQNLDR Mike Rouhan was elated
after finishing a charity rugby union match against a South African team.
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