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August 29, 2013
SGT Christopher McCallion was ecstatic after
notching up his first win as RAAF Base Wagga's
coach when the team beat the Riverina Rams in a
charity Australian football match on August 11.
"It's really nice to get the monkey off the back,"
SGT McCallion said after RAAF Wagga, with the
home-ground advantage, won 8.15 (63) to 2.7 (19).
This was the second time the teams had met
to raise money for Wagga charities. Last year, the
Rams won by a point.
Base charity committee member SQNLDR Brett
MacDonald said the match provided a chance for
some of the older footballers to dust off the boots
and play in a fun, competitive game.
"The match is also a great opportunity for the
base to foster community relationships and raise
funds for two local charities -- Can Assist Wagga
and the Wagga Women's and Children's Refuge,"
SQNLDR MacDonald said.
CPL Mark McGowan, of No. 1 Recruit Training
Unit, took out best-on-ground honours.
During the past three years the committee has
raised more than $30,000 and hopes to raise in
excess of $10,000 this year with charity events,
including a sports trivia night.
Wagga's charity win
AIR Force's most dedicated runners
joined personnel who just wanted to
have a go at the world's biggest fun
run from the Sydney CBD to iconic
The Air Force runners navigated
their way through a human tidal wave
of 85,000 athletes to complete the 2013
City2Surf in brilliant sunshine on
The Air Force runners included ADF
athletes as well as running enthusiasts
who wanted to conquer the 14km fun
run.FLTLT Stephen Gibbins, of RAAF
Base Richmond, ran his first City2Surf
in a time of 54min 8sec to place 409th
FLTLT Gibbins hit the after-burners
early in the event, covering the first
6.2km at an average speed of
16.92km/hr, but slowed to 13.60km/hr at
the infamous heartbreak
hill at Vaucluse.
"I was pretty happy
with my time today
because it's a milestone, as
well as preparation for the
Canberra Half Iron Man in
December, in which I hope
to do well," he said.
FLTLT Gibbins said he
enjoyed challenging him-
self physically and urged
other Air Force personnel
to do some exercise for the
reward of good health and
a "free endorphin hit".
"Running isn't always
about winning, but just
about having a go and
doing your best because
we enjoy the exercise," he
said.Other race competitors
included Gold Charity
LACW Lisa James and
LAC Matthew Spriggs,
also from Richmond.
LACW James, of
22SQN, ran her second
City2Surf in a time of
88.02 to place 27,467th
"The biggest challenge
for me wasn't heartbreak
hill but pushing my way
through thousands of peo-
ple at the start line," she
"It was a great atmos-
phere but there were just
so many people snapping at each others
heels through the race."
LACW James said this event was the
second of three City2Surfs she will run
this year to raise money for Legacy.
In finishing the Sydney City2Surf and
the Brisbane City2Surf in June, LACW
James raised $1013 for Legacy, and has
now set her sights on the Sydney Tough
Mudder in October and the Melbourne
City2Surf in November.
CPL Matthew Spriggs clocked 88.36
to place 28,065th while raising $991 for
Other runners included WGCDR Tim
Horton, who ran 67.25, to place 5942
overall and 266th in his age group of
"I ran a personal best today, about
five minutes faster than I have run this
event before," he said.
WGCDR Horton, of Woodside
Barracks in South Australia, said he ran
his seventh Sydney City2Surf "to keep
the young blokes honest".
THE ADF men's basketball team
was given a special mission when
it played the Australian Opals at
the Australian Institute of Sport on
The Opals had assembled in
Canberra to prepare for their two
coming games against the New
Zealand Tall Ferns to decide which
team qualifies for the women's
world championship in Turkey next
The Opals' coaching staff wanted
two things from the ADF Basketball
Association (ADFBA) team, made
up of five airmen, three soldiers and
They wanted help to prepare for
the New Zealand Tall Ferns and to
play the kind of fast, powerful game
the Opals are anticipating from the
US at the world titles.
The Opals won 79-51, thanks
largely to Lauren Jackson's 30-point
game and a flurry of three-pointers
towards the end. But for most of
the game the margin was within 10
LAC Kevin O'Sullivan and
FLTLT Josh Garbett both scored 10
The other Air Force players were
LAC Ashley Condon (captain), LAC
Stewart Cartwright and LAC Scott
Benyon. FLTLT Danni Stone was
The ADF team and the Opals
posed together for a group photo-
graph after the game and FLTLT
Garbett said the feedback was good.
"They were very happy with our
intensity," he said. "They got to run
all their players. There were a lot of
talented players on court."
Australia and the US have a
fierce rivalry. The US has won the
world championship eight out of
16 times. Australia won it in 2006,
but finished third in 1998 and 2002.
They also took the bronze medal at
the Olympic Games last year where
the US won gold.
This time Australia, with new
head coach Brendan Joyce, has
In basketball-mad Turkey, the
games there will be played in front
of thousands of fans.
About 150 people watched the
game on August 10. They included
ADF supporters, members of the
Australian men's Boomers squad
who were also in camp in Canberra
and junior basketballers.
ADFBA president LTCOL
Geoffrey Young said it was an
honour to be part of the occasion.
"The side was selected at short
notice and through the good will of
the members' chains of command,"
LTCOL Young will hand over
to WGCDR Chris Robson in
The ADFBA national champi-
onships will be held at Randwick
Barracks in Sydney from November
Footnote: Jackson continued her domi-
nance, scoring a two-game total of 41
points to lead the Opals to two wins
against New Zealand and qualification
for the world titles.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: The Australian Opals basketball team joins the ADF men's team for a
photo after their match to help prepare the Opals for this year's world titles.
Men on rebound
Runners take on
HOME RUN: FLTLT Stephen Gibbins, of ALG-HQ,
rounds the final turn for the home stretch as he
competes in the 2013 City2Surf fun run.
Photo: LS Brenton Freind
Calling coaches and managers
PROSPECTIVE coaches and manag-
ers of Air Force's soccer teams for the
ADF interservice championship have
until September 14 to apply.
The Air Force Football Association
is calling for nominations for players,
coaches and team managers to
represent the service in open men's,
over-35 men's and open women's
teams at the nationals at Manly
Football Club from November 2-8.
Send expressions of interest to FLTLT Ben
Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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