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By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
WITH only one position up for
grabs on the 2012 Australian
Olympic team for the 200m
singles kayak race, Capt Kevin
Vowles is well on his way to
The Puckapunyal Health Centre-
based psychology officer won two
silver medals during the Victorian
kayaking championships at the
Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre
held from February 19-20 and is
currently competing in the national
championship in Adelaide.
“I competed in the singles 200m
and 500m events and after leading
95 per cent of the way in both races,
I unfortunately lost both of them to
the same guy by about an inch each
time,” Capt Vowles said.
“I showed a lot of strength and
speed, but he had a bit more endur-
ance than I did.”
Even though he lost both races
by a small margin, Capt Vowles was
still pleased with his performance.
“I hadn’t tapered off my train-
ing before the races, so I didn’t feel
that fresh and I was paddling an old
boat,” he said.
“For the nationals, I will be pad-
dling a new $7000 kayak.”
To achieve his goal of Australian
Olympic selection Capt Vowles is
making both personal and financial
“I went part time at work at the
beginning of the year after design-
ing my own daily training program,”
“It consists of being on the water
about an-hour-and-a-half in the
morning and three hours in the gym
in the afternoon.”
To qualify for an Olympic team
place he said he still had a lot of
work to do, but he felt he had a good
chance of being selected.
“There are three regattas, one in
December and two next year with
one in January and the other, which
is the nationals, in March,” he said.
“I need to win at least the nation-
als and one other regatta to get the
only 200m singles event place on
“I think I have a very good
chance because I have a strong
belief in my ability to achieve
Australian kayaking he would need
to beat some fierce competition.
“The best Australian kayakers
are ranked in the top three places in
the world,” Capt Vowles said.
“People who are selected for the
Olympic team are expected to per-
“I have to achieve a time below
36sec for the 200m event and I’m
training for 35sec to guarantee my
spot on the team.”
He said his Army and psychol-
ogy training had helped him with his
“I have a competitive edge over
other kayakers who are not seeking
any sports psychology support.
“I’ve done research into sports
psychology and I have applied a lot
of techniques into my program, such
as using music to enhance my com-
“This is my biggest goal in
my kayaking career and to make
Olympic selection would be an
amazing achievement for me.”
ARMY Thunder ran over the Bellingen
Magpies for a convincing 34-16 win
in the Sgt Matthew Locke Memorial
Rugby League match, raising more
than $12,000 for charity in the process.
The visiting Army team, which
included several newcomers, pulled
out a strong lead in the game played at
Bellingen Park on February 26, scoring
within the first few minutes to post a
14-0 lead at quarter time.
The Magpies tried to mount a counter
attack in the second quarter, but were
playing catch up and struggled to gain
momentum, ending the first half with the
Army team well in the lead 22-4.
An overconfident Thunder team
stumbled in the third quarter, with some
handling errors and missed opportunities
allowing the Magpies to find their rhythm
and claw their way back into the game.
Recognising the locals were still a threat,
the soldiers rallied in the final quarter
and resumed their onslaught to reach the
34-16 final score.
Players from the Army team, includ-
ing two Bellingen locals, Sgt Nick
Matthews and Cpl Pat Inskip, spent sev-
eral days before the match in the regional
NSW town visiting local primary schools
and giving presentations on the Army and
The annual Sgt Matthew Locke match
honours the Bellingen local SASR patrol
commander, killed in action during a
firefight with insurgents in Afghanistan
Proceeds from the match were donat-
ed to The Grub Club, a charity set up in
Sgt Locke’s honour to provide school
supplies to children in Afghanistan’s
Uruzgan province. A Holden Barina
was raffled and won by Bellingen local
Champions: Army Thunder team members celebrate after their convincing
win against the Bellingen Magpies in the Sgt Matthew Locke Memorial Rugby
Olympic dream: Capt Kevin Vowles has won two silver medals in the Victorian kayaking championships
and hopes to perform better in the nationals this month to secure his place in the Australian Olympic team
Photo by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
ARMY Rugby has been a representa-
tive sporting institution for many
years, but exactly how many years is
not quite clear.
Army Rugby’s Vice-President for
Support Col Marcus Fielding said they
might be unknowingly approaching the
centenary of Army Rugby in the next
“Army Rugby is said to have been
formed in 1931, but there is other evi-
dence that a team was formed on the
Western Front during World War I,”
Col Fielding said.
The organisation has initiated a
research project to rediscover its ori-
gins and history.
The project seeks to determine how
far back Army Rugby can trace its
lineage, and to develop a collection of
highlight articles covering different
periods in Army Rugby’s history.
“I imagine that we will recover all
sorts of interesting stories. It’s impor-
tant to make an investment to capture
our history and heritage,” he said.
Army Rugby is appealing to anyone
who might have knowledge of any asso-
ciation records, trophies, memorabilia,
photos and history of any kind.
To provide information to the project, contact
Andrew Kilsby on 0408 342 795 or andrewk-
Time to rediscover the
origins of Army rugby
Lost in history: Does this photo, taken in 1931, show the first Army Rugby team?
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