HMAS Penguin Gate to Gate Fun Run Success

Commanding Officer HMAS Penguin, Commander Ian Campbell, RAN, with the overall female and male winners, Lieutenant Brie McConville and Lieutenant Rowan Walkers at the 39th annual White Ribbon Gate to Gate Fun Run held at HMAS Penguin.

The 39th annual HMAS Penguin White Ribbon Gate to Gate Fun Run was held on Wednesday 22 November 2017. The 5km course incorporated a panoramic and undulating route from Middle Head Oval, through Chowder Bay, across Georges Heights Oval and past HMAS Penguin to finish at Middle Head Oval.

Almost 200 competitors contested the run/walk with Lieutenant Brie McConville and Lieutenant Rowan Walkers being the first to cross the line in their respective categories to take out the overall opens female and male titles at the 39th annual White Ribbon Gate to Gate Fun Run.

Penguin’s Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald said it was a challenging course, steeped in history.

“The event has its origins as a physical training session the Navy divers would do,” he said.

“It’s always been a challenge with a steep incline from the bottom gate to the top gate and back down again.

“Over the years it’s branched out to include the panoramic and undulating Chowder Bay route.”

The Gate to Gate Fun Run also raises money for the White Ribbon Foundation to generate awareness aimed at reducing violence against women and encouraging people to speak up. All competitors recited the White Ribbon Day pledge, prior to the commencement of the event.

The first Gate to Gate Race took place in 1978, which makes this run the second oldest running competition, behind the Bonshaw Cup, which was first contested in 1963.

Nearly four decades strong, the race has always been contested in November and adopted its association with White Ribbon when the international campaign emerged in Australia.

“Obviously, it’s a great initiative. The White Ribbon Foundation is focused on putting methods in place to stop violence against women at its root cause,” Leading Seaman McDonald said.

“As Navy we should be role models in the community. It’s important if we see something wrong, we step in. That we can go to that individual and ask ‘are you ok?’”

The Fun Run originated from HMAS Penguin personnel who were involved in early morning training. They conducted a short scenic run that saw them continuously run around the circuit. The race has evolved over the years into the 5km run that now takes place annually.

Navy Canteens is also a dedicated supporter of the event and this year provided a grant of $2,750 towards the t-shirts which were supplied by SALT and worn by all competitors.

SALT is a division of Navy Canteens which manufactures Navy branded clothing, accessories and memorabilia. Undertakings from SALT go directly to supporting serving Navy members though the Navy Canteens distribution of funds and grants programs.

Last financial year Navy Canteens distributed almost $389,000 as part of the Navy Canteens grants program.

For more information or to apply for a Navy Canteens grant visit

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