Navy women gain aptitude at altitude

Published on LCDR Natasha Connew (author)

Location(s): Perisher, NSW

Topic(s): Snow Sports

Twenty women attended the annual Navy Alpine Snowsports Ladies Development Camp at Perisher, NSW over the 21-23 July weekend. (photo: Unknown)
Twenty women attended the annual Navy Alpine Snowsports Ladies Development Camp at Perisher, NSW over the 21-23 July weekend.

A group of Navy women have given up warmth and comfort, for freezing temperatures and bruises, attending an intensive training camp, hardening their skills to represent Navy at the annual Navy Alpine Snowsports championships.

The weekend-long Ladies Development Camp targeted female skiers and snowboarders of all ranks and abilities. First-timer through to the moderately experienced participated in skills development lessons, while more advanced underwent an intensive race training camp to refine skills and garner early-season time on a race course.

Helping more Navy people keep fit to fight across the winter months is just part of the package, with 20 women taking the challenge to literally get back up every time they fell down, building resilience, and mateship at the same time.

Vice President of Navy Alpine Snowsports, Commander Paul Kirk, said Navy Alpine Snowsports had been using the camp to increase participation for a number of years through generating an inclusive environment for women.  

“This weekend provides a chance for those women new to the sport to come together with some of our more experienced competitors and train in a supportive environment,” Commander Kirk said.  

“Now in its fourth year the Navy Ladies Development Camp is a fantastic initiative of Navy Alpine Snowsports and is more than just building skills and potential champions, it fosters friendships and improves confidence in the participants,” he said.

Able Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Laura Jessep, of HMAS Albatross, said she really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people.

“Getting together with a group of like-minded ladies really helps with confidence and a sense of belonging,” Able Seaman Jessep said.

Warrant Officer Angela Miranda took the opportunity to both represent Navy and challenge herself physically outside of the normal workplace. Warrant Officer Miranda is a seasoned skier but new to Navy Snowsports, and was quite impressed with the structure and focus of the training camp.

“This weekend was a great way to meet in a casual setting. It was all about building friendships and making new contacts while trying something new and challenging. I’m looking forward to coming back next year,” Warrant Officer Miranda said.

Snowboarder, Petty Officer Medic Samone Black, of the Army School of Health said the weekend was well timed just ahead of the Navy Alpine Snowsports championships, and helped her build upon skills she developed at other events.

“I am ready to race and aiming for podium finishes after this weekend of training to warm up and refresh all the skills I developed on the recent Overseas Development Camp,” Petty Officer Black said.

The Navy Annual Championships are between 13-19 August, and the Australian Defence Force Inter-service Championships will be held 20-25 August this year. With a strong turnout to Ladies Development Camp, Navy will be looking to field a strong and competitive Interservice team in this years competitions.