It was powder on the face of a different kind for 45 naval officers and sailors at the recent Navy Alpine Snowsports Ladies Development Camp at Perisher on 25-26 July.
The weekend was a Navy Alpine Snowsports initiative to encourage women’s participation, and build race skills for the Navy team to be competitive at the inter-service championships. Lieutenant Commander Danielle Radnidge and Lieutenant Harriet Cameron sought to bring together seasoned professionals and keen amateurs in the icy pursuits of ski and snowboard racing in an inclusive and encouraging environment.
Lieutenant Commander Radnidge said she was very impressed with the turnout.
“Quite often we all find reasons that we can’t get away to increase our fitness, with work and family commitments,” she said.
“The weekend was about getting out on the snow and showing everyone that having a go is half the fun - we had nearly two per cent of Navy’s women on the slopes, some trying skiing and snowboarding for the first time.”
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics Support Operations Jessica Vujcich said she was thankful for the opportunity.
“I have discovered through attending Navy Ladies Development Snowsports Camp that skiing is the Defence sport I’d like to further my skills and challenge myself with in the future,” she said.
The weekend was a lead into both the Navy Snowsport Championships and the Australian Defence Force Championships in Perisher where Navy was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Navy Snowsports Association.
Lieutenant Cameron said the weekend's purpose was team building as well as skills.
“Often we don't find many women are available to get to the championships but with a little encouragement, we had a formidable team this year, especially with the women’s snowboard team.”
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Sandy Holden participated in racing for the first time.
“I will never forget the first time I saw the Giant Slalom Race Course on Perisher’s Hypertrail,” she said.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be able to ski that course.
“As I was waiting on the side of the mountain for my first run the nerves were building and I thought I was going to vomit.
“By the time I got to the start gate the nerves were gone and I was ready to race.
“The sense of pride and achievement on completing that race course was incredible and I will never forget that feeling and I will never forget the encouragement from everyone on that day.”
The Australian Defence Force Championships are held annually for both ski and snowboard disciplines.