Two personnel from HMAS Cairns recently swapped North Queensland’s humid climate for Canada’s extreme cold when they represented the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Defence Force in the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Committee and Soldier On winter sports camp.
Lieutenant Dan Prowse and Leading Seaman Shane Pepperall departed for Whistler, British Colombia, in February to participate in team building and personal development activities with other wounded, injured and ill personnel from the Canadian, United Kingdom and United States armed forces.
While in the Canadian ski resort town, LEUT Prowse and LS Pepperall participated in Nordic, biathlon, curling, dog sledding, sledge hockey, snowmobiling, alpine snowboarding and skiing.
The temperature was, on average, a cool -10 degrees, with heavy snowfall almost everyday.
LEUT Prowse said that the highlight was “getting to know members from other armed forces and learning their strategies for coping and treatment.”
“This was the first time I had participated in anything like this and it was incredibly worthwhile,” LEUT Prowse said.
“I participated in all six sports, which really pulled me out of my comfort zone. I feel very fortunate to have participated in this initiative, because this experience has helped me on so many different levels,” he said.
The two week program was aimed at providing a fun and challenging experience to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of Defence personnel with both visible and non-visible injuries.