Home' Army News : September 1st 2011 Contents SPORT 37
Army September 1, 2011
By Flt-Lt John McCourt
THERE is one thing that's pretty tough
about East Timor -- its mountainous
terrain. ADF personnel are finding out
how challenging it can be in a new way.
Welcome to the sport of mountain
biking in East Timor -- a sport that is
helping shape the young country's inter-
Troops of the Australian-led
International Stabilisation Force (ISF)
recently took part in East Timor's
National Mountain Bike Championships
that drew the cream of the country's
The championships are a prelude
to the Tour de Timor to be staged from
September 11-16 -- an event that has cap-
tured the cycling elite from around the
world and is demonstrating just how far
East Timor has come in terms of peace
Eighteen ISF members joined about
130 locals in the 52km championships
that took competitors along an inland
and coastal route of stunning scenery yet
torturous climbs and breakneck downhill
While a few had some painful spills,
the ISF did itself proud with the leading
ISF rider, Pte Arthur Gatt, finishing sev-
The event also drew entries from the
country's security sector, including the
ADF Cyclists will head for the hills for
the Defence road championships on
September 15 to be held at the Royal
National Park in Sydney.
The course starts and finishes at
Watamolla Beach with the A grade
riders completing 84km, the B grade
53km and C grade and women 26km.
The road race counts towards part of
the overall championship. Riders also
have to do well in the 50 minutes +
two laps criterium at the Sutherland
Shire Cycling Club on September 16
and the 39km time trial at Holsworthy
Barracks on September 17. For more
information, contact LS Suzie Peterson
(02) 9359 4403 or 0404 518 541.
East Timor Police Force and the East
Timor Defence Force.
Local East Timorese riders dominat-
ed the race as road cycling continues
to grow as a national sport, alongside
From September 11-16, eight ISF rid-
ers will step up for the 552km Tour de
Timor. If they thought the mountain bike
championships was tough, the Tour de
Timor is considered the toughest bike
ride of them all.
Mountain high: LCpl Lloyd Godfrey
followed by Pte Daniel Fox and
Deane Prescott make their way
uphill during the gruelling East Timor
Mountain Bike Championship race in
Dili as Lt Paul von Bertouch (inset)
celebrates crossing the finish line.
Photos by Cpl Melina Mancuso
By John Martin
THEY say it is the horse race
that stops a nation -- but come
November 1 the Melbourne
Cup will stop two nations at the
Australian national softball cham-
pionships in Victoria.
More than 100 men and women
representing the Royal New Zealand
Air Force, the Royal New Zealand
Navy and the New Zealand Army
will contest the titles alongside
about 150 ADF players at Werribee,
near RAAF Base Williams.
But they will not be playing on
Tuesday, November 1, which falls
smack in the middle of the titles,
because that's a designated rest day.
Very conveniently, Flemington race
course is only 20km away.
It's a big year for the Australian
Defence Softball Association
(ADSA), which will be celebrating
its 25th anniversary with the titles.
Since the inception of the titles
in 1987, the New Zealanders have
been regular visitors here -- their
Navy once, Air Force thrice and
Army four times -- but this will be
the first time they have all been here
at the same time.
The games, to be held at
President's Park, start on October
30 and continue on October 31, with
the rest day on November 1, and
then resume on November 2.
The Kiwis will compete against
the Australians in those preliminary
matches, but on November 3 the
best of the Australian teams and
best of the New Zealand teams will
separate for their own grand finals.
That night ADF men's and
women's teams of 15 players will
be named for Test matches against
New Zealand on November 4.
ASDA secretary WO2 Virginia
Morris, Robertson Barracks Medical
Centre, has been with Defence
Softball since 1997 and said some
On track for good innings
of the old players had disappeared
but over the years the association
continued to grow and match-
es against the Kiwis were always
"We have a lot of young people
who come through, and a mixture of
experienced players and those who
have never played before, who come
and have a go," she said.
"The New Zealand softball teams
are usually quite strong, especial-
ly the men's teams. Our woman's
teams normally do well each year
and the games are always very com-
petitive and well fought."
There is a bit of history there,
particularly over the past 10 years
when the ADF women and New
Zealand have each won their fair
share of games.
The ADF men, however, have
won just once -- and that was in
December 2009 when they beat
New Zealand 4-3 at RAAF Base
Williamtown. The ADF women also
won 15-2 on that day.
ADSA is keen to unearth photographs of
the early days of the national titles (the
women started in 1987 and the men came
on board in 1993). So check your photo
albums if you think you can contribute. For
more information, contact Alicia Matene
(03) 92564057, 0412 576 368 or email
In form: Veteran player WO2 Virgina Morris fires a ball down for the
Northern Territory at a recent tournament in Singapore.
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