This ‘Ocsober’ we need your will power

This article has photo gallery Published on CAPT Dom Sander (author), POIS Paul Berry (author)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Chief Executive Officer for Life Education NSW, Mr Jay Bacik, speaks at the launch of the Navy and Life Education Ocsober 24 hour swim relay at the Australian Defence Force Academy Pool. (photo: POIS Paul Berry)
Chief Executive Officer for Life Education NSW, Mr Jay Bacik, speaks at the launch of the Navy and Life Education Ocsober 24 hour swim relay at the Australian Defence Force Academy Pool.

This October, members of the Royal Australian Navy are putting their will power to the test to reap health and lifestyle benefits.

Hundreds of Navy members are supporting Life Eductation's 'Ocsober' campaign which provides drug and health education to Australian children.

The Royal Australian Navy’s participation was officially launchedon 25 September with a 24-hour swimming event in Canberra.

Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, represented Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett at the launch and said the initiative was closely aligned with Navy’s values.

“Educating our kids on healthy habits is vital and ‘Ocsober’ raises money for this important task through Life Education,” he said.

“This year’s theme of ‘will power’ is all about self-discipline and setting challenges for yourself and achieving them in the interests of a healthier lifestyle.”

Rear Admiral Mark Campbell said being healthy is fundamental to the Royal Australian Navy and its ability to fight and win, and that is why he wholeheartedly supports ‘Ocsober’.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Harman, Commander Jayne Craig, said that the swim followed on from a similar event last year.

“We raised a significant amount of money for the ‘Ocsober’ campaign last year and hope to be able to raise more this year,” she said.

“There are five teams of about 30 members each swimming for 24 hours and the challenge for the teams is to have a swimmer in the water for the whole time,” she said.

For Commander Craig the event was a great way for Navy people to work on their fitness and raise awareness for Life education at the same time.

“Having a healthy mind and body is important for sailors and officers to perform well on their jobs,” she said. 

Ocsober 2014 Ambassador, Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, is a keen supporter of the campaign and was again swimming this year.

“It’s a great to see the Royal Australian Navy continuing to promote the goals of Life Education – as an Ocsober Ambassador I believe there is no more worthy cause than looking after your own health, and the health of our kids,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.

The official launch was held at the Australian Defence Force Academy Indoor Sports Centre.  The swim was just one of many events being held in ships and establishments to raise awareness and funds.

Navy members across the country will be abstaining from alcohol, getting on bikes and rowing machines, running and swimming, all in the name of a healthy lifestyle.