Page 14 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
P. 14

 This summer I was exceptionally lucky enough to travel to Cyrpus with the Army water polo team. Here the main effort was hard training in preparation for the Inter Services Competitions. With the luxury of the Cypriot climate came reliable brit-abroad-burning sun allowing ample outdoor pool time to work on those all-important skills and drills. Being an Army sporting event this also meant we got to enjoy kit day. That special second Christmas, receiving various, often interestingly sized, garments. However instead of every surface plastered galore in reindeers, instead we find head to toe ARMY branded letting mere mortals nearby know just how Army you are. In hindsight, pristine white was probably not the best choice for the poolside training tops. These slowly worked on their own tan through the tour, eventually ending in that chlorine green combo swimmers come to know so well.
For myself being new to water polo this was a fantastic opportunity to work as a team, learn new skills and
develop specific fitness. I.e. be able to chase a ball up and down a never- ending pool and kick like crazy with no regard to knee and hip joints longevity, whipping up imaginary eggs with your legs, for seemingly hours and hours. I had the advantage of already being an experienced swimmer and could happily swim up and down till the cows came home. However, aquatic hand eye coordination and any concept of the rules appeared initially to be somewhat lacking. Que the idiots guide to water polo 1, 2, 3. I can now appreciate the skills involved in not only catching a large ball one handed (seemingly with a mind of its own) but also doing this whilst; a) being semi-drowned by the enemy/ opponent and b) partially blinded due to all the chlorine currently on its own tour making its way slowly through your eye balls. This drowning business being quite technical both in physicality and in ruling. In essence, if they have the ball, drown away.
Being a true team aquatic sport this provided many new opportunities for
myself. My previous aquatic experience has been always as an individual. There is certainly a team element however in swimming there is a very different kind of team work. You support each other outside the pool and at training however in a competition you only physically work together in a relay race. On the field of water polo however there is a sharp contrast, albeit an extremely positive and enjoyable one. With water polo there is not only the physicality of swimming but also the need to know exactly where your players are, what they want, and how you can work together to score a goal. That is assuming of course you know, and importantly understand, what the different seemingly random positions and their corresponding numbers mean.
All in all everyone greatly enjoyed and benefited from high intensity, professional coached training and a series of competitions preparing the team for the Inter Services competitions. A fantastic opportunity we will never forget.
Army Polo Training Camp Cyprus Jun 18
By Lt Bowman, Veterinary Officer/Troop Commander 104 Sqn 1MWD Regt
The Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) took part in Ex Dragon Trail as part of our annual Adventure Training (AT) located in the sunny surf side of Newquay in Cornwall. The AT package was two weeks long with personnel divided into two main groups to ensure one-week of AT each. The activities consisted of hill walking, mountain biking, surfing and coasteering. All these activities were certainly challenging for different people. Many people had never done coasteering before and it evidently pushed them well out of their comfort zones requiring a great level of courage and bravery.
The coasteering took place along the cliffs of Fistral beach; this consisted of different jumps varying in height from the cliffs into the sea. The smallest height was 5 metres and the highest of 35 metres with multiple jumps in between these heights. This challenging activity promoted coaching and team bonding within each group to encourage and support all members to complete the activity. Whilst coasteering we had to rock climb along the coast to get into the caves. Once in the caves we swam through under the guidance of an instructor who delivered an educational piece on the Tea Caverns. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, smugglers used tunnels from the beach into the caves to conceal valuables such as tea, wines and silks.
Surfing turned out to be one of the most popular activities of the week. This also took place on Fistral Beach and the sunny
By LCpl Parfrement
month of August along with a well fitted wetsuit kept temperatures bearable. We had an instructor for the whole day, theory and practical sessions were broken down which was beneficial for beginners. The rest of the afternoon we were in the water practicing 2 of the biggest achievements which were being able to stand on the board and to ride a wave which the majority managed to achieve. No sharks were sighted which can also be said to be an achievement!
We were lucky to have superb weather for the duration of both weeks. However,
we certainly picked a good week which also coincided with BoardMasters which is a local surf festival which entailed the of sampling food and beverages accompanied by up and coming bands and competitive surfers from around the world to compete on the beaches of Newquay. This also allowed for an element for socializing and down time which including sampling the local and recommended Cornish pasties and not forgetting clotted creams scones which were welcomed after an arduous AT day.
Exercise Dragon Tail – Cornwall

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