Friendly footy bolsters bond between Choules and PNGDF

Published on FLTLT Michael Moroney (author), LAC Oliver Carter (photographer)

Location(s): Manus Island, PNG

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100), Soccer

LS Morgan Kovo, Papua New Guinea Defence Force, and SBLT Samuel Fraser a member of HMAS Choules, during a game of soccer at Tarangau Naval Base. (photo: LAC Oliver Carter)
LS Morgan Kovo, Papua New Guinea Defence Force, and SBLT Samuel Fraser a member of HMAS Choules, during a game of soccer at Tarangau Naval Base.

It’s not everyday you get to see an international sports competition, but members of HMAS Choules are creating their own, matching up against Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) personnel from the Tarangau Naval Base, Manus Island.

While the ship is at anchor the Physical Training Instructor, Petty Officer (PO) Rhoderick Hunter, was able to negotiate some friendly touch football, soccer, and volleyball matches to be held every fortnight between the ship’s company, the PNGDF and one of the local villages.

PO Hunter said the activities have been a great way for the ship’s company to interact with the locals, particularly with the PNGDF, and experience the friendly culture.

Choules’ sailors have loved the opportunity to socialise with them on the sporting field and be able to experience their culture,” PO Hunter said.

“They’ve also enjoyed the chance to stretch their legs and have a run on an open field, as opposed to running around the flight or vehicle deck on the ship.”

“Both the local villagers and PNGDF have displayed some impressive skills across all sports and provided great competition,” PO Hunter said.

“The competition was more intense with the PNG Navy personnel, while it was still extremely friendly, national pride was on the line, so both teams played out some extremely close matches.”

The matches will continue over the coming weeks, along with other Defence Cooperation Program initiatives, while HMAS Choules provides support to Operation LANDSCAPE.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20131208.