HMAS Penguin shares in community spirit at Balmoral Swim

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), ABIS Sarah Ebsworth (photographer)

Location(s): Balmoral Beach, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Balmoral Swim For Cancer

L-R: Seaman Clearance Diver (SMNCD) Jake Thomson, Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gall, RAN, SMNCD Alex Rogan, SMNCD Mitch Passmore and SMNCD Bryan Josephson after they competed in the Sprint Relay during the  Balmoral Swim For Cancer at Balmoral Beach, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Sarah Ebsworth)
L-R: Seaman Clearance Diver (SMNCD) Jake Thomson, Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gall, RAN, SMNCD Alex Rogan, SMNCD Mitch Passmore and SMNCD Bryan Josephson after they competed in the Sprint Relay during the Balmoral Swim For Cancer at Balmoral Beach, Sydney.

Continuing the tradition for the fifth year, HMAS Penguin was proud to once again play a key role in supporting the annual Balmoral Beach Club Swim For Cancer last weekend.

Penguin’s Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Gall said the annual activity highlighted the strong ties held between Penguin and the local community.

“The Balmoral Swim For Cancer is a very important local community activity,” he said, “one that Penguin has been proud to support again this year as it has done so over the past five years.

“Although the scheduled RAN Rock Band performance was cancelled due to wet weather, the conditions did not dampen the community spirit of our Navy personnel.”

Through the hotly contested Penguin Shield and the involvement of the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic and Dive Schools there was strong Navy support for the popular event at Sydney’s Balmoral Beach.

The Penguin Shield, presented by the Commanding Officer, is awarded to the winning team of the school’s 4 x 150 metre relay event, with each swimmer in the team receiving a special medallion.

“The annual swim is an excellent cause and it is terrific that, in recognition of the close affiliation between Penguin and the local community, that the Penguin Shield relay is included in the listed swim events,” CMDR Gall said.   

The Shield was introduced last year and won by the Aquaburn Swimming Club.

“A Navy dive team participated this year, but Aquaburn, who clearly have a very effective training regime, took out the title again,” explained CMDR Gall.

“The boys Aquaburn ‘A’ team came in first, with the girls Aquaburn ‘B’ team in second place and the Navy divers rounding out the top three.

“The divers have obviously taken the loss in great spirit, as they posed for photos on completion of the event.

Other major events included in the day were a one kilometre harbour swim, 250 metre junior swim and the open teams relay.

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gall, RAN awards the winners of the Balmoral Swim For Cancer sprint relay with the HMAS Penguin Shield at Balmoral Beach, Sydney.

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Paul Gall, RAN awards the winners of the Balmoral Swim For Cancer sprint relay with the HMAS Penguin Shield at Balmoral Beach, Sydney.

Prior to the start of the Balmoral Swim, the Hydrographic School set the course using GPS coordinates. Then, during the swim events, HMAS Waterhen’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) and crew provided supplementary safety support to the RHIB of the local Surf Lifesaving Club.

“This event is a great opportunity to raise funds for cancer research, engage with the local community and encourage health and fitness,” stated CMDR Gall, “Navy personnel look forward to the Balmoral Swim each year as a regular feature on Penguin’s calendar.”

All monies raised from the Balmoral Swim for Cancer go towards the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. The Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute wholly dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140940.