ASTOR Ground Segment Potted Sports Morning – 29th May 2011

It is not often that we get enough down-time together as a unit to enjoy a bit of team building and have a bit of fun, so, on the Morning of 29 May 2011, the Detachment Commander Captain “Spike” Speedman rounded up the lads and (the one) lass for some team games. The games consisted of 7 different activities, so the detachment was divided into teams of 2 and each team had to come up with an idea for an activity. Unfortunately, Senior Aircraftsman Whitehead was on guard duty and had to miss out on the day’s activities.

The first game was the ‘Bottle Walk’; walking-out with your arms using two 2-litre bottles of water, placing one as far out as possible without touching the ground. This was won by Sergeant Stu “Daywalker” Bentley who proved that a tall, skinny physique meant his long reach was advantageous, although Flight Lieutenant Slack (aka “Slacky”) wasn’t far behind him, with a similar physique.

‘Around the Clock’ on the dart board was the next game. Yes, the detachment does have a dart board and a heavily-used one at that. Of course the Technicians (Techs), Corporals Phil Heathcote and Scott Kelly, won this round; well, what else are the Techs supposed to do while the mission is running smoothly?

Crunches (the highest number in 1 min) followed. Obviously the guys who have been out here on Operation MASSIVE had the advantage! Slacky and Corporal Ben Kramer took this using a technique from Slacky resembling the death throws of a deranged frog but their total spoke volumes. Lance Corporal Aaron Baston was not far behind; his technique meant that his refined lower abs (or gut, as some might say) were on show to the whole detachment while he performed his crunches! This, along with his choice of underwear, will be something of a talking point for the entire tour.

The next challenge was Pull-Ups. The detachment has built its own pull-up bar which is used throughout the long missions to alleviate the stress of constant Moving Target Indicator clutter. Corporal “Smudge” Smith with his small, lean, almost transparent physique, exploded through 16 pull-ups to win and take the points.

When it came to Table Tennis, the hand-to-eye co-ordination paid off once again for the Techs, as it did with the darts. All the practice during the missions really paid off this time!

A Blindfolded Obstacle Course was the most imaginative event (well done, Smudge!). In the event, your partner had to guide you around using only voice commands. Corporal Chris “Jenks” Jenkins and I had this one sown-up with me making up for being the only girl on the det by giving clear and very LOUD voice commands!

The last round was the Quiz. This was written and delivered by Corporal Matty Cusack and Land Corporal Aaron Baston. Up until the tie-breaker, Sergeant Jonny Bingham and Corporall Dave Alty were leading the quiz due to their impressive knowledge on military history but, they were pipped to the post with the question about what the acronym ‘DNA’ stands for by Spike and Smudge.

Overall the competition was won by Corporals Phil Heathcote and Scotty Kelly. They were presented with a prize at the end of the games by Captain Spike Speedman. It was a well-deserved break from the ASTOR Ground Segment daily tasking; one which will be remembered for all the laughs – mostly at each other rather than in unison!

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