Navy snow sport participants brave the conditions

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Jake Badior (author), CPL Chris Beerens (photographer)

Location(s): Perisher, NSW

Topic(s): Alpine Snowsports

A Royal Australian Navy sailor leads the pack during the men's ski cross event at the Australian Defence International and Inter-services Alpine Snow Sports Championships held at Mt Perisher, New South Wales. (photo: CPL Chris Beerens)
A Royal Australian Navy sailor leads the pack during the men's ski cross event at the Australian Defence International and Inter-services Alpine Snow Sports Championships held at Mt Perisher, New South Wales.

Blizzard conditions failed to deter the ADF’s best snow sports athletes from competing in the annual Australian Defence International and Interservices Alpine Snow Sports Championships (ADIISC) at Perisher Valley.

Skiers and snowboarders competed in a range of events from 20-24 August, including slope style, giant slalom, slalom, and boarder/skier cross at the renowned southern New South Wales ski resort.

Director ADF Sport, Colonel Phil Langworthy, said the event was not just about skiing and snowboarding but is focussed on developing skills and qualities relevant to the military.

“The courage, leadership and teamwork that competitors display throughout the week is quite extraordinary,” COL Langworthy said.

“Operational tempo these days is very high and this is one small way that the organisation and chains of command can recognise the contributions of their members by allowing them to compete.” 

“The bonds developed between athletes and the sentiment they show toward the organisation is such a positive experience that it has you coming back year after year.”

Before being selected to represent Navy, Army or Air Force at ADIISC, competitors must qualify by battling it out at the single-service championships held the week prior.

COL Langworthy said ADIISC competitors are the ADF’s ‘best of the best’, and that it can take some years to achieve the high level of skill required to compete. He said that commitment should not be a deterrent for those aspiring to participate.  

“During both the single-service and interservice competitions, participants are divided into skill-level groups and undertake daily lessons with qualified instructors where we see great improvement.”

Snowboarder Able Seaman Louise Chittick said the competition was a great way to network and build relationships with people you may not have the chance to meet or work with in Defence. 

“Everyone on the hill is cheering each other on, no matter your rank or service.

“The encouragement is always there to go a little harder, a little faster. 

“This is my fifth opportunity to compete and I’ve had a ball every single time,” she said.

Able Seaman Chittick and her fellow competitors were joined by Perisher instructors and ADIISC support staff at an awards ceremony to mark the end of the tough competition.

Despite putting up fierce competition, Navy were narrowly defeated by Army in overall points tally for the week.

The ski team for both men and women placed first with both snowboard teams coming in a close second.

Commander Daniel Crocker took out the slalom, giant slalom and won the overall points score for the men’s ski events.

Sub Lieutenant Kate Milward placed second in slalom and giant slalom and placed second overall in the female ski events.

Competing at his first ever ADIISC, Lieutenant Commander Russel Skor placed second in parallel giant slalom, and was third overall in men’s snowboarding. 

COL Langworthy encouraged any members with an interest in snow sports to consider taking part in their respective future single-service events, regardless of experience or skill level. 

Navy members interested in joining the Navy team next year can visit the Navy Alpine Snowsports Association page on the DRN:
http://drnet/navy/NSC/Associations/Alpinesnowsports/Pages/Skiing.aspx