Sport on the menu during Indian Navy visit

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Austin (author), CPOIS David Connolly (photographer), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Location(s): Fremantle, Western Australia

Sailors from INS Satpura compete against members of HMAS Sirius in beach volleyball at HMAS Stirling. The sporting competition was a part of the Indian Navy visit to Fremantle, Western Australia. (photo: CPOIS David Connolly)
Sailors from INS Satpura compete against members of HMAS Sirius in beach volleyball at HMAS Stirling. The sporting competition was a part of the Indian Navy visit to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Indian Navy Ships Satura and Kamorta recently conducted training and security patrols in the Indian Ocean and visited Fremantle in Western Australia for a short respite visit.

Royal Australian Navy personnel based at HMAS Stirling visited the ships in the Port of Fremantle to welcome the Indian sailors and participate in several friendly sporting events and combined navy musical performances.

Several games of basketball and beach volleyball were conducted onboard Stirling.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainer Paul Williams said the Indian sailors who participated were very enthusiastic about competing against the Australians.

“The games were played in great spirit with supporters from both navies cheering on their teams,” Chief Petty Officer Williams said.

The Indians were disappointingly unable to take up a challenge in their national sport of cricket.

“Umpiring the games was a little challenging due to the language barrier, however, all participants were very respectful of the situation. 

"The Australians dominated the Indian Navy in basketball and the Indians defeated the Australians convincingly in volleyball,” Chief Petty Officer Williams said.

One of the major highlights was the post-event barbecue where the some of the Indian sailors were introduced to the Australian tradition for the first time. 

“The mostly vegetarian visitors appreciated the veggie burgers created by the Navy run gallery onboard Stirling provided.

“On a more personal note, the Indian Physical Trainers were eager to discuss the training our sailors undertook during their careers. 

Commanding Officer HMAS Sirius Commander Darren Grogan presented plaques to the visitors and their senior representative reciprocated.

Also during the visit Indian and Australian Navy bands performed at Forrest Chase Shopping Centre in the City of Perth, where several hundred shoppers gathered to enjoy the performance with members of the public stopping to talk with band members when they weren't on stage.

Chief Petty Officer Musician Natalea Erskine from the Royal Australian Navy Band said it was fantastic opportunity to showcase the musical talents of both navies.

"It was a great experience to share the stage with the Indian Navy Band and have such a positive response from the public,” Chief Petty Officer Erskine said.

“We rarely have the opportunity to work with a foreign navy band so it was a memorable performance for us."

The first bilateral exercise between Australian and Indian Navies will be held in September in the Eastern Fleet exercise areas off the east coast of India.