The world game suddenly became much closer to home for the crew of HMAS Choules, who staged a friendly sports competition in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands last week.
While deployed at sea in support of Operation RESOLUTE, the ship’s company were challenged by the Cocos (Keeling) Islands locals, from one of Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories.
During the day the sailors enjoyed the local food and hospitality and competed in soccer and volleyball in a carnival atmosphere.
Choules’ soccer teams played two fiercely contested games against an experienced group of local players. Both games were fast and scoring was high, with honours drawn at the end of day through wins to both the Choules team and the locals.
Leading Seaman Medic Dave Cusack said the day provided a great opportunity to meet the people of the island.
“The atmosphere was fantastic and the people were really welcoming and engaging,” he said.
The local women's volleyball teams proved to be tough competitors and were too good for the Choules’ team.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics – Personnel Operations Dale Kratzman said the whole day had been enjoyable.
“The local women were lovely people,” she said.
“They were grateful to have had the opportunity to play against a different team.”
During the day, ship’s company were treated to the hospitality of the community who had come along to watch the games.
The locally prepared delicacies were one highlight as were the school children’s games of soccer and rugby which the ship’s company cheered from the side lines.
However, the real highlight of the day was the relationships which were built through sporting competition, between the ship’s company of Choules and the local community of one of the more remote of Australia’s offshore territories.