A Cup full o’ fitness at Coonawarra sports day

Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), POIS Peter Thompson (photographer)

Location(s): Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, NT

Topic(s): Sport, HMAS Coonawarra

Midshipman Joshua Weeding launches a wet mop javelin during the 2019 Coonawarra Cup competition at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, Darwin, NT. (photo: POIS Peter Thompson)
Midshipman Joshua Weeding launches a wet mop javelin during the 2019 Coonawarra Cup competition at Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, Darwin, NT.

Units from across the three services recently converged on Larrakeyah Defence Precinct in Darwin to compete in a uniquely Top End sporting event.

This year’s Coonawarra Cup was decided over a series of fun but hotly contested activities.

On a beautiful dry season day with temperatures in the thirties, the aptly named Water Explosion activity proved a favourite among competitors eager to cool down.

Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructors Justin Heard and Jesse Pinto organised the event.

Leading Seaman Heard said the aim of the competition was to foster esprit de corps and teamwork among the different Defence units in the Northern Territory.

“Our servicemen and women in Darwin are a tight-knit community that supports each other in the tough times and celebrates together in the good times.

“Sporting events such as the Coonawarra Cup cement those bonds and create a motivated workforce that is fit to fight and proud to serve - as well as allowing them to have a bit of fun,” Leading Seaman Heard said.

Transit Security Element 93 (a joint Navy and Army unit) won this year’s Coonawarra Cup, beating Fleet Support Unit - North with a score of 21 to 18.

Other teams included HMAS Pirie, HMAS Launceston, Fleet Logistics Support Element - Darwin, and Port Services.

The Cup is part of the Top End Forces Shield that runs over the dry season. Teams earn points toward the Shield for coming first, second or third in the Cup.

The winner of the Shield will be announced at the annual swimming carnival in November.