Page 82 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 82

Nordic Skiing
The Rifles claimed their fourth consecutive Infantry Nordic Championships in Bessans, France in early January 2019, and the second in a row for the Third Battalion. The activity continued to consist of cross- country skiing and biathlon, with a combination of races making up the various meets. Covering harsh terrain followed by precision shooting whilst heavily fatigued tests Rifleman of all ranks in unfamiliar conditions.
3 RIFLES begun the season in early November conducting roller ski and marksmanship training in Aviemore, Scotland before journeying to Idre Fjall, Sweden for a four-week training camp. Instructed by an array of international talent, Riflemen made the most of a world class training environment to hone already seasoned skiers and rapidly develop novices.
At the Infantry Championships the team collected a raft of trophies and medals, in the process keeping a highly competitive 4 SCOTS team at bay. Progressing on to the Divisional Championships in Les Contamines, France the team achieved the best Infantry results since 2001, ultimately finishing second overall behind 17 Port & Maritime RLC. 3 RIFLES won the Classic Relay, becoming the first Infantry unit to win any Divisional race since 2000. The team was ably led by LCpl Wiseman and LCpl Young, who narrowly missed out on individual medals in several events. Congratulations should go to LCpl Robinson who was the Divisional Novice and Junior Champion.
In Rupholding, Germany the team competed at the Army Championships in the world-class Chiemgu Arena. With the German national team training alongside them, 3 RIFLES navigated their way over some of the most challenging biathlon courses on the World Cup circuit. After two weeks of competition the team emerged 7th in the Army, an improvement on the previous year and the highest ever regimental finish since formation. LCpl Robinson collected the prestigious award for Army Junior Novice Champion and certainly has a bright Nordic skiing future ahead of him.
Exceptional individual performances contributed to the team’s success with Cpl Holden and LCpl Hillier progressing significantly across the season to anchor the relay with LCpl Wiseman and LCpl Young competing for places in the Army Top 20. At the Infantry Sports Awards Captain Miller, Cpl Holden, LCpl Wiseman and LCpl Young were awarded Infantry Colours.
During the 2018-19 Nordic skiing season 3 RIFLES delivered the best results of any Infantry unit in 17 years. The Regiment is now a serious force within the Army in what is a sport close to the core of Infanteering. The Rifles have continued to assert their dominance over other Infantry units and the future looks promising.
Capt Andrew Miller
OIC Nordic
3 RIFLES enjoyed a hugely successful night in the annual Army vs Navy Scotland Boxing Night in March, in which all of the Army boxers were provided by 3 RIFLES. The boxers had great preparation for the fight, where they were put through their paces by coaches Cpl Enright, LCpl Hindmarch and LCpl Marshall. Unfortunately, only three boxers from the team were able to be matched by the Navy on the night, but those that didn’t get the oppor- tunity to fight were nevertheless invaluable in helping those three fighters in their preparation for the night, and the training will serve them well for when they eventually get their chance to step into the ring.
The three boxers able to get matched on the night were LCpl Kororua, Rfn Dunlop, and Rfn Welch-Davidson who were fighting in the heavyweight, light heavyweight and welterweight weight categories respectively. LCpl Kororua won his fight by unanimous decision in what was a hugely enter- taining fight. Much respect to his opponent whose granite chin absorbed punches that would have stopped most boxers! Perhaps most enjoyable was seeing LCpl Kororua, an incredibly direct runner on the rugby pitch, demonstrate his surprisingly light feet dancing around both the ring and his opponent with unsuspecting agility and grace!
Rfn Dunlop also won his fight by unanimous decision, with his performance betraying the fact that this was his first ever fight. He showed phenomenal aggression throughout the bout which his opponent was simply unable to match. Not allowing him any space to operate, he completely suffocated his opponent while constantly working through heavy hitting combinations. It was a brilliantly experienced performance from a very inexperienced boxer.
Rfn Welch-Davidson was the third 3 RIFLES boxer who fought on the night, losing narrowly to a vastly more experienced Navy champion fighter. He displayed phenomenal precision and accuracy, with his punches rarely missing their intended target. Ultimately, he was beaten by an extremely talented Navy boxer, but this should not distract from Rfn Welch-Davidson’s own performance.
There are a number of individuals I’d like to thank for their hard work in ensuring this night was the success it was. Firstly, I’d like to thank Staff Sergeant Shackleton (QMSI) for his tireless efforts behind the scenes in organising the night alongside the Navy and ensuring all the boxers were registered and carded; secondly, the coaches, Cpl Enright, LCpl Hindmarch and LCpl Marshall for their dedication and professionalism in organising and delivering all the training to the boxers in the build-up to the event; and finally, and most importantly, to the boxers, both those who were given the opportunity to fight and those who weren’t. Every one of them proved they were willing to get in the ring and fight on behalf of the Battalion and the Regiment, which requires both great discipline and courage and rightly deserves recognition.
Lt James McAllister
Officer Commanding 3 Platoon
  ‘This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine’

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