13 September 2023
Far from the ocean, skiers and snowboarders wrapped up another year on the slopes as part of the annual Navy Alpine Snowsports (NAS) Championships in Perisher Valley, NSW.
Navy snow sports provides a forum for members of all ranks and roles to get together outside the workplace, enabling interaction across diverse communities.
Sub-Lieutenant Sabrina Ting has skied her whole life and said the NAS community was like an extended family.
“It’s my home away from home; a Navy family I get to create memories with each year,” she said.
NAS president Commander Ian Napthali promotes NAS as a supportive and inclusive environment for all.
“When everyone is racing it’s not unusual to see everyone at the bottom of the course cheering on the beginners just as much as the high-performing members,” he said.
“All members are encouraged and supported to develop their skills, from members who may only have a few days’ experience through to former Australian team members.
“This is the type of behaviour Navy needs to develop as we strive to get the most out of our people.”
Commander Phil Ridgway has been a part of the organisation since before it was known as NAS.
“I started skiing for the Navy in 1984 and have only missed about six years since and still managed to do 14 years at sea,” Commander Ridgway said.
Making lifelong friends through NAS has kept Commander Ridgway passionate and involved in the sport.
“It is available to all, from seaman to flag ranks, and open to all skill levels, from people who have never seen snow to the best Navy has,” Commander Ridgway said.
Aviation ground support sailor Able Seaman Razaz Glaidous was a stand-out performer during the week, being recognised with the value award for enthusiasm, leadership and quality.
“Having the chance to challenge myself throughout the week while meeting and connecting with amazing people was an incredible experience,” Able Seaman Glaidous said.
This year, 98 sailors and officers, from seaman to captain, competed in ski and snowboard events including giant slalom, slalom, snowboard slopestyle and boarder and ski cross events.