Colour run for colourful crew

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Jessica Bartels (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Toowoomba (F156), Running

Members from HMAS Toowoomba participated in the ‘Colour Run with a Purpose’, held on the American Naval Base in Bahrain during their Operation MANITOU deployment. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Members from HMAS Toowoomba participated in the ‘Colour Run with a Purpose’, held on the American Naval Base in Bahrain during their Operation MANITOU deployment.

During a busy port visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain, members of HMAS Toowoomba’s crew found time to participate in a ‘Colour Run with a Purpose’ on 6 February.

Thirty-six members of Toowoomba’s ship’s company joined almost 200 serving members from different nations and their families on a 2.5km colour run.

The event was facilitated by Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Naval Support Activity (NSA) to raise awareness for multiple organisations such as Domestic Violence, Suicide Prevention, Heart Health, Breast Cancer, SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention & Response), Stop Animal Cruelty and MWR Rocks.

The NSA is an American run naval base located in Bahrain with the purpose of supporting American and allied personnel and vessels operating in the Middle Eastern Region.

Participants gathered at the NSA on the sunny Thursday afternoon, dressed in their white shirts and colourful accessories, ready to run for a purpose.

With a colourful stage set and DJ blasting music, the party atmosphere at NSA was enjoyable and exciting.

The outskirts of the dance floor were surrounded by information booths enlightening all participants about the various causes they were running for, including brochures and memorabilia to encourage ongoing support.

“It was fantastic to see so many personnel from Toowoomba coming out in support of such worthwhile causes such as suicide awareness, breast cancer, and domestic violence, et cetera,” HMAS Toowoomba’s Medical Officer, Lieutenant Aaron McDonald, said.

“It was such a vibrant and enjoyable day,” he said.

After a dynamic warm up ‘dance’, participants headed to the starting line.

Every 50m, runners were splashed head to toe in various coloured powder, each colour representing a different cause as follows:

Purple: Domestic Violence
Yellow: Suicide Prevention
Red: Heart Health
Pink: Breast Cancer
Teal: SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention & Response)
Orange: Stop Animal Cruelty
Blue: MWR Rocks

All participants crossed the finish line looking like a glorious rainbow! There was no doubt everyone had an amazing and enjoyable time for a worthy cause.

“It was amazing getting involved with the local community raising awareness for such great causes,” Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems sailor Kayleigh Fletcher said.

“The dance party pre and post run was my favourite experience. The event organisers really went above and beyond,” she said.

All participants were smiling and laughing, and volunteers were ecstatic to be throwing coloured chalk on all. This was without doubt a highlight of the port visit for all members of Toowoomba who partook.

It was a great way to end the port visit to Bahrain and Toowoomba’s crew were grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a worthy cause.

The event concluded ahead of Toowoomba sailing as the first Australian warship to join coalition forces in the newly formed International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).

The Australian warship will be tasked to provide safe passage and the freedom of navigation of commercial shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20200763.