THEY may have taken to the field as rivals but – in true Australian Defence Force style – they walked off the ground as mates and comrades.
Friends and work colleagues briefly became opponents yesterday, as the Ground Training Wing clashed with the Royal Australian Air Force College in RAAF Base Wagga’s annual Charity Australian football game.
While conceding neither team wanted to lose the game, RAAFC backline star Paul Browning was adamant the result would have no lasting adverse affects on friendships or working relationships at the base.
“We aren’t playing for sheep stations, but at the same time neither team wanted to lose,” he laughed.
“It is still competitive but it is all for a bit of fun.
“The main purpose of the game is to raise money for two very worthy charities.”
The popular event – now in its third year – raises much-needed funds for breast cancer and prostate cancer charities.
“I think we are close to raising $20,000 this year,” Browning said.
“Prostate cancer and breastcancer are two big charities that affect a lot of people so it is great to have the chance to help those charitiesout.”
What originally began as a game between two RAAF Base units has now grown into an annual blockbuster that involves 60 players and attracts a large crowd of spectators.
GTW yesterday continued their dominance of the competition, recording a convincing 17.7 (109) to 11.5 (71) victory over RAAFC.
“GTW have over 600 people to choose their team from and most of them are young, fit blokes with a lot of enthusiasm,” Browning said.
“Youth and exuberance has definitely helped them, and they also have quite a few boys with Australian football backgrounds who play in the local comps here.”
Browning named imposing GTW coach Brett MacDonald as the day’s standout performer, with the unstoppable forward bagging seven goals.
“We were actually in front in the first quarter before Brett kicked a couple in a row,” Browning said.
Browning, who arrived back on Australian soil late on Thursday after a stint in the Middle East, travelled from Sydney to take part in the friendly fixture.
“I didn’t want to miss it,” he said.
WINNERS’ PRIDE: Clark Chancellor leads his Ground Training Wing teammates through their victory song at the completion of the Wagga RAAF charity game yesterday. Picture: Les Smith
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.