The 2014 Fleet Commander’s Challenge Sports Day was hotly contested between fleet and establishment teams at HMAS Stirling on 26 November.
Six events were run during the day - soccer, touch football, Australian rules football, beach volleyball, deck hockey and a tug-of-war, with the HMAS Stirling team, made up from various base establishments, winning four events, to take the trophy for the second year running.
After a busy year in the west, the day was more than just competition on the sporting field - it was also an opportunity for friends and colleagues to catch up in a social environment.
Able Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Brent Stafford from HMAS Stirling's Gunnery Section competed in the 'Establishments' team and said he enjoyed a chance to catch up with friends from his previous ship, HMAS Arunta.
“I had a great time playing touch footy against mates I’d worked with when I was in Arunta, and scoring a try during the game didn’t hurt either,” said Able Seaman Stafford.
The extra motivation was enough to have Able Seaman Stafford presented with the most valuable player on the touch field.
The Challenge is the premier sporting event for the Stirling Physical Training staff, who organise events throughout the year including a monthly sporting competition.
Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Alex Leahy from the Stirling Fitness Centre said the Challenge was a unique event where individual units combine to form 'Establishment' and 'Fleet' teams, resulting in much stronger competition.
“This is the only time during the year we get to hold this type of combined challenge. The other competitions we run throughout the year pit individual units against each other,” said Petty Officer Leahy.
Standout performances were also noted from Able Seaman Matthew Johnston (from the winning 'Establishment' deck hockey team), Seaman Liam Edwards in the 'Establishment' soccer side, Able Seman Samuel Ball in the beach volleyball for 'Establishment' and the 'Fleet' Aussie rules star, Lieutenant Joshua Sims.
Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, Captain Angela Bond, accepted the trophy on behalf of the HMAS Stirling team, which won four events to Fleet's two, from Commanding Officer HMAS Perth, Captain Ivan Ingham, representing the Fleet team.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143645.