Home' Army News : July 13th 2017 Contents Unit Plaques
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July 13, 2017
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
ARMY rowers stroked their way
to win 11 medals with their fel-
low Air Force team mates, dur-
ing the 2017 Australian Masters
Rowing Championships from
May 18-21 at Lake Nagambie in
The team’s haul of two gold,
four silver and five bronze medals
continued ADF Rowing’s success
in the AMRC, with the mixed A
and B grade eight team winning
gold for the third year in a row.
ADF rowing regatta captain Maj
Nic Williams said the ADF con-
tingent at the championships was
smaller than previous years due to
deployments and exercises.
“Despite this we managed as a
team to put in a great showing, due
to the quality of our rowers and the
commitment made by each crew to
work together,” Maj Williams said.
“The highlight of the event for
me was the mixed eight race, with
eight exhausted men and women
teaming up, to pull ahead of the
field from the start.
“Mid-race, the other crews
pushed hard, we then fought on to
finish with a convincing win for the
third year in a row.”
WO2 Jason Clarke had a unique
experience during the champion-
ships in the same race.
“A highlight for me was hav-
ing the opportunity to row with my
wife Lahnie,” WO2 Clarke said.
“Our team had to source a
woman fill-in rower at the last min-
ute and Lahnie was able to assist.
“It was great to be in a winning
boat with my wife.”
OF THE 11 medals won by the team,
Army was involved in the two gold medal
results which were the mixed A and
B grade eight event with Army’s Maj
Nic Williams, Capt Jeremy Lawrence,
WO2 Jason Clarke and Lt-Col Elizabeth
Stephens contributing to the win. The
other gold came from the mixed A and B
grade double scull, with Cpl Dwain Boon
and Flt-Lt Alyssa Everson winning. In the
same event Maj Williams and Sqn-Ldr
Sarelle Woodward earned a bronze.
Lt-Col Selina Rowland represented
the ACT in the interstate women’s D
grade quadruple scull for a silver medal,
and earned another silver medal in the
women’s A grade eight and a bronze
in the women’s C grade double scull in
WO2 Jason Clarke gained silver
medals rowing with a civilian crew in the
mixed E grade quadruple scull and the
mixed A and B coxed four.
Bronze medals went to Maj Nic
Williams and Capt Jeremy Lawrence in
the mixed A and B grade four, and WO2
Clarke, Maj Williams and Cpl Dwain
Boon in the men’s A grade quadruple
During the Australian Masters
Rowing Championships more than 100
Australian rowing clubs, and more than
2500 rowers attended.
Stroke of brilliance
Army and Air Force combine in medal haul
Australian Masters Rowing Championships
Lt-Col Elizabeth Stephens, Sqn-Ldr
Sarelle Woodward, Lahnie Clarke,
Flt-Lt Alyssa Everson, Sqn-Ldr
Chris Lowe, WO2 David Clarke, Capt
Jeremy Lawrence, Maj Nic Williams
and coxswain Sgt Sam Holst (retd)
celebrate their medals.
Passion for rugby the one constant
Leut Kiz Welling-Burtenshaw
DURING Maj Garrath Williams’ mil-
itary career, he has served in two dif-
ferent defence forces, and called two
different countries home.
But one thing has remained con-
stant – his involvement and passion for
rugby, a sport that shares many of the
same traditions and values of both the
British and Australian Armies, in which
Maj Williams has served.
Maj Williams joined the RAR in
2004 after a lateral transfer from the
He served at the School of Infantry,
25/49 RQR, 6RAR, LWC Canungra
and HQ 1 Div.
Currently Maj Williams is an
Army Reserve officer working in the
Australian Defence Staff at the High
Commission in London.
Maj Williams’ playing career was
predominantly at unit level both for the
British and Australian Armies.
It has been his involvement in the
management of significant rugby activ-
ities, where his greatest contribution to
the sport has occurred.
Maj Williams was the liaison officer
for the men’s ADFRU touring side to
the UK in 2013, and then again in 2015
for the International Defence Force
Championships in the UK.
Maj Williams said he still wants to
further his knowledge of the “beautiful
game”, and when he was approached
by the organisation “Rugby for Heroes”
looking for an ADF veteran who
wanted to gain some coaching quali-
fications through their courses, he
jumped at the chance.
“Rugby for Heroes is a fantastic
organisation which increases awareness
and raises funds to support members
who are making the transition to civil-
ian life,” he said.
“Since I wanted to pursue a full-
time career in rugby, gaining coach-
ing qualifications seemed like a logical
Upon successful completion of the
course participants are awarded RFU
level one and two coaching qualifica-
tions, as well as referee qualifications
for up to under-16 level.
Maj Williams said the courses were
open to any transitioning member from
a Commonwealth country.
“I would encourage any ADF per-
sonnel interested in securing a place on
the course to get in touch – regardless
of whether they are in the UK on post-
ing, leave or working in a civilian role,”
Since the course, Maj Williams has
obtained his goal of securing a full time
“rugby” role at community or school
level in the UK, while continuing his
Australian Army Reserve duties.
He will be in charge of the High
Performance Rugby Program at the
Sevenoaks School in Kent, which was
founded in 1432.
Maj Garrath Williams, with ball in hand,
instructs as part of his assessment
during the Rugby for Heroes transition
coaching qualification course. The
course was held at Minchinhampton
RFC, Gloucestershire from June 18-23.
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