True blue values for Navy footy teams

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Location(s): Ikon Park, Melbourne

Topic(s): Australian Rules Football

The Royal Australian Navy Australian Football Association (RANAFA) national women's and men's teams at Ikon Park, home of the Carlton Football Club. (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
The Royal Australian Navy Australian Football Association (RANAFA) national women's and men's teams at Ikon Park, home of the Carlton Football Club.

An affinity for navy blue was just one shared trait between the Royal Australian Navy Australian Football Association (RANAFA) and the Carlton Football Club as both organisations came together to share lessons.

The RANAFA men’s and women’s Aussie Rules teams attended Ikon Park, home of the Carlton ‘Blues’, to find out more about how a military service and professional sports teams share principles.

Both RANAFA teams also took the opportunity to use the same high-quality training facilities as Carlton players in preparation for their matches against Army and Air Force in this year’s Australian Defence Force Aussie Rules carnival. 

Carnival Manager and RANAFA Executive, Chief Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Adam Bamford said working with Carlton Football Club gave both organisations a chance to examine each other’s culture.

“Just as we’re looking at how Carlton manages and supports a team of people to achieve the goal of winning a Premiership, Carlton were looking at how Navy drives its people to match the individual needs of each member in a way that meets our mission,” he said.

“Our RANAFA teams are made up of sailors and officers from across the fleet and our challenge is to see how we can take the lessons of team building from a professional sporting organisation and apply them ahead of our first match against Army.”

Able Seaman Electronic Technician and Half Forward Flank for the men’s team, Daniel Hines noticed many similarities between Carlton Football Club and Navy.

“We’re both driven by highly tailored approaches to performing well, building an individual’s capabilities and employing them in a team to get the job done,” he said. 

“It was great to mix with other rates and ranks from around Australia and take new approaches to performance back to work at the end of the carnival.”