Creswell bowled over by Gilchrist visit

Published on LCDR Chloe Wootten (author), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Creswell, ACT

Topic(s): HMAS Creswell

Soaked through from completing a flood stopping exercise are (back L-R) LS Simone Van Dam, LS Ian Weeden, PO Andrew Armstrong and AB Krystopher Haynes (front, L-R) AB Craig Smith, Adam Gilchrist, AB Daniel Stubbs and PO Nickolas Skow. (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
Soaked through from completing a flood stopping exercise are (back L-R) LS Simone Van Dam, LS Ian Weeden, PO Andrew Armstrong and AB Krystopher Haynes (front, L-R) AB Craig Smith, Adam Gilchrist, AB Daniel Stubbs and PO Nickolas Skow.

HMAS Creswell hosts over 200 visiting groups a year, but a recent arrival generated more than passing interest from ship’s company.

On 18 September, former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist spent a ‘day-in-the life’ of the Navy as part of a program being filmed for the Fox Sports channel.

Mr Gilchrist was given hands on experience in fire-fighting and damage-control training at the Royal Australian Navy School of Survivability and Ship Safety (RANSSSS), before being put through his paces in the Creswell gymnasium.

After initial safety briefings, Mr Gilchrist was exposed to fires and floods at the RAN SSSS, so he could understand the dangers of life at sea and the importance of training all officers and sailors to be able to respond in an emergency.

Once Mr Gilchrist had finished his filming commitments at the school, he obliged requests for autographs from staff before a quick lunch and then off to his next challenge.

Like the members of each New Entry Officers’ Course, Mr Gilchrist then undertook the RAN Swim Test and then tackled the over-water obstacle course to see if he had what it takes for a career in the Navy.

The physicality of the tasks undertaken by Navy members was made more difficult by the pace of the day and Mr Gilchrist was heard to comment that his choice of schnitzel at lunch, “…wasn’t the best idea!”

Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Alex Minney indicated that the former professional sportsman had nothing to worry about as his fitness was still at a good level.

“After the morning at the fire ground, then the pool session, we took him to the waterfront and he joined in with some team-based activities such as a tug-of-war and a beach relay.”

“We normally challenge the fitness of initial trainees from the ages of 17 to 50+ and he kept up with everything we threw at him!” he said.

The filming day was in support of Defence Force Recruiting and ended with a hit of cricket on the Quarterdeck, giving the participants a chance to earn the claim that they had caught the star of the day out or hit him for six.

Despite this, his performance across all tasks indicated that his post cricket career options can now include the Navy.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131462.