Home' Air Force News : August 1st 2013 Contents 23
August 1, 2013
Netballer aces this basketball caper
LAST seen playing netball for Air
Force at the ADF national carnival at
Easter, convert LACW Christine Van
De Werken made a big impact when
she represented Air Force at the
NSW Defence interservice basketball
Not only did Air Force win
the title, LACW Van De Werken
-- playing in her FIRST basketball
tournament -- was judged most
valuable player (MVP) for the
tournament held at Randwick
Barracks from July 5-7.
LACW Van De Werken, of
2 Operational Conversion Unit,
was not alone in the spotlight at
RAAF Base Williamtown because
the Williamtown men's team also
returned with the men's crown.
LAC Shaun Wheatley, also of 2
Operational Conversion Unit, won
the men's MVP.
The success of these players can
be traced back to a social basketball
bounce-around which has been
held in the Williamtown gym every
Wednesday lunchtime for the past
roster as such, according to NSW
Defence Basketball Association OIC
SQNLDR Janeter Turnbull.
"We split into two mixed teams
based on who turns up on the day,"
SQNLDR Turnbull said. "It's a
scrimmage and not officially scored."
LACW Van De Werken was asked
to participate in a push to get more
women on the base interested in the
She found it quite enjoyable and
on the strength of her showing was
picked to represent Air Force.
SQNLDR Turnbull said LACW
Van De Werken played very well at
"The Wednesday scrimmages have
given her a good understanding of
basketball and have contextualised
her netball skills to basketball. She
is tall and this helps her out a lot,"
SQNLDR Turnbull said.
The Air Force team played a
Public Service team in a best of
three games to decide the women's
The first was a 35-35 tie, Army/
Navy/APS team won the second game
by two points, 30-28, and Air Force
won the last 39-26 to take the title.
"I thought it was a
fantastic tournament," LACW Van De
"Not only did I have a lot of
fun but I learnt a lot. Everyone,
both the women and the men, were
great, friendly and encouraging. I felt
right at home."
Four teams -- RAAF Base
Williamtown, RAAF Base Richmond,
Navy and Army -- contested the men's
After a preliminary round-robin,
Richmond played Army to decide the
third and fourth position. Richmond
led at quarter-time and managed to
stay in front by enough to win the
Williamtown played Navy in the
final. While Navy led by five points at
half-time, Williamtown surged away
in the second half to win 83-68.
Men's most valuable player was
LAC Wheatley, a shooting guard/point
guard representing Williamtown for
the second time.
"We ran hard and played team-
oriented basketball throughout
which allowed us to capitalise on
our strengths and other teams'
weaknesses," LAC Wheatley said.
Next on the agenda for LACW
Van De Werken, LAC Wheatley and
all their Williamtown and NSW Air
Force, Navy and Army colleagues
are the national combined services
basketball championships, also at
Randwick Barracks, in November.
The NSW teams are yet to
be picked but training is already
WHERE IT ALL STARTED: LACW Christine Van De Werken with some of
her teammates at the Wednesday scrimmage at RAAF Base Williamtown
Photo: LAC Mark Friend
SEVEN Air Force rugby league play-
ers became world-beaters as part of the
Combined Australian Services Rugby League
(CASRL) team's victory in the Armed Forces'
World Cup at Melville Barracks, Colchester,
in the UK from June 30 to July 14.
The Armed Forces' World Cup was one
part of the Festival of World Cups, where
the Australians were also victorious in
the Women's, Police and Students' finals.
Australia also contested the Wheelchair rugby
league tournament, but was beaten in the
CASRL winger LAC Sean Colville, of
RAAF Base Williamtown, said winning
a World Cup was a highlight of his rugby
"It's a rare opportunity to wear the green
and gold in sport and you have to make the
most of it when it's presented to you," he said.
"We were lucky to have a skilful side that
clicked together on and off the field, which
showed in our games and allowed us to shut
the gate on our opponents."
The CASRL side remained undefeated in
the four-team competition and held on for a
32-22 win against New Zealand in the final.
CASRL earlier inflicted two massive
defeats of 112-0 and 110-0 on the Serbian
Army side, playing in its first World Cup.
Australia also had early round wins
against New Zealand (32-22) and defending
champion Great Britain (20-16), who made a
shock exit in the semi-finals at the hands of
LAC Colville scored two crucial tries in
the win against the Poms, who made a stirring
comeback to almost edge the Aussies out of
"The game against Great Britain set us
up for the final and subsequently the tourna-
ment," LAC Colville said.
"Without that win it may have been an
entirely different result. It was also my best
game, getting two early tries, which proved
crucial for the end result."
In the final against New Zealand on July
13, CASRL dominated the opening 40 min-
utes to establish a lead which their opponents
were never able to claw back.
CASRL captain LS Daniel Capilli was
named man of the match, but received
outstanding support from 5/8th PTE Keith
Eshman, who crossed for a hat-trick of tries.
Australian Rugby League coach Tim
Sheens and representatives from the NRL pro-
vided inspiration by chatting to the CASRL
squad before they left Australia and again
before their games against Great Britain and
The NRL also provided jerseys and fund-
ing for the teams.
CASRL officer-in-charge AIRCDRE Bob
Rodgers said the Australian players were
remarkable representatives on and off the
"The spirit in which they engaged with
the community of Colchester, their Service
counterparts and the competition was consist-
ently commented on by all I came into contact
with," AIRCDRE Rodgers said.
"The future of Australian Combined
Services Rugby League is bright and now,
as world champions, we have well and truly
stamped our credentials on the game both
nationally and internationally."
Tour Manager MAJ Al Lynch said with a
proposed CASRL tour of Papua New Guinea
next year and the next Armed Forces' World
Cup being played in Australia in 2017, the
value of this performance could not be under-
Five CASRL players were also named in
the World Dream Team following the tourna-
ment. They were LS Daniel Capilli and AB
Veniasi Turuva from Navy, and SGT Danny
Tevita, TPR Jack Blaine and PTEs Mahn
Darley and Keith Eshman from Army.
Air Force representatives: SGT Luke Troy, CPL
Anthony Hopkin, and LACs Sean Colville, Daniel
Halliday, Daniel Holt, Mitchell Knowles and
Australia def New Zealand 32-22
Australia def Serbia 110-0
New Zealand def Great Britain
Australia def Great Britain 20-16
New Zealand def Serbia 62-6
Australia def New Zealand 32-22
Great Britain def Serbia 98-0
Australia def Serbia 112-0
Great Britain def New Zealand
CRUNCH TIME: LAC
Sean Colville, right, and
PTE Mahn Darley put a
halt to the progress of a
Great Britain player during
the Armed Forces' World
Cup in England. Inset, the
world champions begin
Photos courtesy SBSphotos.co.uk
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