The Sydney COVID-19 lockdown didn’t stop HMAS Watson personnel from staying healthy and raising funds for a good cause.

Teams of officers and sailors competed against each other in two cardio challenges in support of Dry July, which raises money for services for people impacted by cancer and cancer research, and includes various initiatives.

In the first challenge, the sailors and officers attempted to run, cycle or row the highest number of kilometres over a week. 

The losing team had to donate a minimum of $1 per member to Dry July. 

The officers recorded a whopping 2262.89km, winning the challenge. 

More than $1000 was raised for Dry July.

Operations Officer HMAS Watson Lieutenant Commander James Knight participated in the challenge and highlighted the importance of getting behind such initiatives.

“Nearly everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer in Australia. Contributing to the fight against this illness is something everyone should consider if they can,” Lieutenant Commander Knight said.

The sailors had the opportunity to even the score, with another cardio challenge held a few weeks later. 

This time, teams of officers and sailors conducted a spin-a-thon, during which they took turns cycling against each other over six hours with the aim of recording the highest number of kilometres. 

Despite social-distancing and group restrictions, there was a strong showing and a fantastic atmosphere, with the wearing of costumes was encouraged. 

Executive Officer Watson Commander Tina Brown and Chief Warrant Officer Nigel Jeffers had a showdown in the final 30 minutes, completing their stints in a Hulk and Angry Bird costume respectively.

The officers finished on top again, but everyone was a winner having done something healthy for their bodies and minds.

Event organiser and HMAS Watson physical training instructor Leading Seaman Lara Pilton said the ultimate winners from the effort were the organisations supported by Dry July. 

“These activities are fantastic for the physical and mental health of all of us – and a lot of fun. Knowing that we often also raise money for an important cause such as Dry July is an added incentive to participate,” Leading Seaman Pilton said.