Stirling spinners peddle a healthy message

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Location(s): Rockingham

Topic(s): Ocsober

HMAS Stirling ships company participate in a spin-a-thon in the HMAS Stirling gymnasium.

(L-R) Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Spencer Doyle, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, Captain Brian Delamont, RAN, Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor (LSPTI) Jacob Machen, and LSPTI Tamara Prins.   (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
HMAS Stirling ships company participate in a spin-a-thon in the HMAS Stirling gymnasium. (L-R) Able Seaman Communication and Information Systems Spencer Doyle, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, Captain Brian Delamont, RAN, Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor (LSPTI) Jacob Machen, and LSPTI Tamara Prins.

Navy members have continued their support of Life Education Australia's 'Ocsober' campaign this year, through a number of activities helping raise funds and awareness of healthy life choices.
 
Cycling at more than 32 kilometres per hour, members from Fleet Support Unit – West have emerged victorious in the annual HMAS Stirling spin-a-thon.
 
For a period of 24 hours, the nine member team out-pedalled their rivals to achieve a total distance of 788.7 kilometres, at the Western Australian Navy base.
 
The spin-a-thon also kick-started Stirling’s Ocsober fundraising and Warrant Officer Electronics Technician Tony Hyde said the event featured some friendly competition.
 
“We had the advantage of having some enthusiastic cyclists in our team, many of whom compete for their local cycling clubs,” he said.
 
“But more important than winning, the event was about raising awareness for healthy lifestyle choices.”
 
Ocsober is Life Education’s annual fundraising campaign, designed to raise awareness in the general community, and in particular children, of the impacts of alcohol abuse.
 
Life Education’s programs empower children to make the right choices for a safe life, free from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol.
 
Warrant Officer Hyde said the values behind the Ocsober campaign were pertinent to Navy members.
 
“Many of us have families of our own and we strive to be good role models for our children,” he said.
 
“But the principles behind Life Education are similar to Navy’s own values and behaviours."
 
“We strive to have mental and physical fitness and the moral courage to do the right thing."
 
“Part of that is understanding the factors that can affect our resilience such as alcohol.”
 
Team member Lieutenant Ryan Aberle said the enthusiastic participation was a testament to the work of the Stirling Physical Training Instructors.

“They do an excellent job organising sports events with the aim to promote physical and mental wellbeing while participating in teams,” he said.
 
“We have consistently supported this event because it requires commitment from the whole team working to a common goal.”
 
Overall six teams competed, representing hospitality and medical staff, frigate HMAS Toowoomba, training and gym staff, the Stirling Command team and the technical crew from Fleet Support Unit-West.
 
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 5,554 deaths and 157,132 hospitalisations in Australia each year.
 
More than one million children are impacted by the drinking of others and alcohol abuse is an element of nearly half of all child protection cases in Australia.