HMAS Penguin helps kids at 2018 Balmoral Burn

This article has photo gallery Published on WO Ian Daley (author), Department of Defence (photographer)

Location(s): Balmoral Beach, Sydney, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Penguin, Balmoral Burn, Humpty Dumpty Foundation

SMNCD* Jordon Bitokski (left, in cap) leading the ‘Hill of Hurt’ race up Awaba street. SMN Bitokski went on to win the event with our divers filling the first six positions. (photo: Michael Amendolia)
SMNCD* Jordon Bitokski (left, in cap) leading the ‘Hill of Hurt’ race up Awaba street. SMN Bitokski went on to win the event with our divers filling the first six positions.

The crew of Mosman's HMAS Penguin joined more than 10,000 competitors on a beautiful autumn day for this year's Humpty Dumpty Foundation Balmoral Burn charity fun run on Sunday 27 May.

Penguin's ship's company participates in the annual event, now in its 18th year, as part of the base's support for the charity, with fund raising commencing at a Friday night auction where $11,000 was raised through the sale of a corporate tour of the establishment's facilities.

Commander Mathew Bradley, Commanding Officer of Penguin, described the pride his ship's company takes in supporting the work of the charity.  

"The Humpty Dumpty Foundation provides amazing support to hospitalised children in more than 370 locations nationwide," he said. 

"It is really inspiring to hear the stories of the children whose lives have been saved through the donations from the local community and events like the Balmoral Burn. 

"The Balmoral Burn is a real showcase of civic virtue, and I am proud of Navy's support for the local community in a great cause - not just on race day but over days of planning and preparation before the event."

Navy is deeply involved in the planning and organising of the Balmoral Burn, with support from Australian Defence Dive School and the Navy Hydrographic School, the Royal Australian Navy Band and the Fleet Air Arm.

Navy Chaplain Richard Quadrio conducted the 'blessing of the hill' at the official opening, where competitors gathered to accept the challenge of conquering the 420 metre Awaba Street hill.  

Amongst the competitors were instructors and students from the ADF Dive School, who competed in the 'Hill of Hurt' - the Balmoral Burn's finale event that requires the participant to climb and crawl their way up the hill while carrying a 10kg sand bag. 

Balmoral Burn organiser and Wallaby great Phil Kearns was on hand to start the 'Hill of Hurt' which was won by Penguin's Seaman Clearance Diver Jordon Bitolkoski in a well-deserved win against 130 other elite athletes and Navy Clearance Divers.  

Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Nathan Adamson noted the achievement of the Navy Clearance Divers participating in the finale.

"A lot of elite athletes competed today in some particularly tough challenges," he said. 

"For the Clearance Divers to feature so strongly in the top 20 is an impressive demonstration of the level of fitness they achieve while posted to the Dive School," he said. 

Over the course of the weekend the 2018 Humpty Dumpty Foundation Balmoral Burn managed to raise in excess of $3 million to purchase life-saving equipment for Australian Hospitals.