Squadron rivalry a win for local community

RAAF Base Tindal has once again hosted the annual 17 Squadron versus 75 Squadron Rugby League charity game.
RAAF Base Tindal has once again hosted the annual 17 Squadron versus 75 Squadron Rugby League charity game.
 
The event has been running for the past 10 years and is part of a program of base events to raise funds for the Cancer Council Northern Territory.
 
The afternoon’s activities included a Touch Football curtain raiser followed by the Rugby League game, both events providing nail biting entertainment for spectators with a close battle to the very end.
 
Senior Australian Defence Force Officer of RAAF Base Tindal, Wing Commander Tim Ferrell said that sporting events such as these were a good way to bring the community together while raising money for a worthwhile cause.
 
“As part of our commitment to the community of Katherine, base personnel organise activities to raise money for charities that benefit our local community” Wing Commander Ferrell said.
 
“Each year we get a little more ambitious with the donation goal. Last year we reached $24,000 so this year we have decided to set it at $40,000.  We are well on track to reaching this amount with around $30,000 already raised.
 
“The money will be given to the Cancer Council NT so that they can continue their excellent work in the community.
 
“I am exceptionally proud of the Team Tindal community, who come together every year to support such a worthy charity. In particularly Leading Aircraftman Suraj Kandasamy who has been a driving force to achieve such astounding results. Without his enthusiasm and tireless commitment this event would not have been possible.”
 
WGCDR Ferrell also said that the event wasn’t just about the opportunity to raise money but was also the perfect opportunity to strengthen the close ties of the Team Tindal Defence ‘family’.
 
“These types of events are also important for the esprit de corps of base personnel. For some it is the first time working and living in a remote community and while it can be a challenge our people embrace the experience.”
 
75 Squadron member Corporal Reece Fenoglio, one of the driving forces behind the event said that the game was in honour of Squadron members, Corporal Jason Ruhan and Flight Sergeant Paul Sletton who lost their battles to cancer in 2013 and 2018 respectively.
 
“When our friends got sick it really hit home how important it is to have medical facilities in remote areas, so that people are able to receive their treatment close to family support rather than having to travel long distances to cities.
 
“We decided to do everything possible to fund raise enough money to get more medical support services in Katherine. So far the money raised has assisted the Cancer Council NT to purchase chemotherapy chairs for the Katherine Hospital. Our next aim is to help get the funding for a cancer care coordinator position for the region,” Corporal Fenoglio said.
 
The support from the whole community has been overwhelming. Sincere thanks to all of the local businesses who provided sponsorship and made this event possible.