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  • Writer's pictureMartin Zeilig

Wing Commander’s Challenge 2022

An initial overcast sky and a slight smattering of rain at the start did not dampen the spirits of the 150 participants at the 2022 Wing Commander’s Challenge on June 2.

In fact, the cool, fresh early morning air combined with the vigorous warmup, led by the dynamic Dawn Redahl, PSP Sports Coordinator, in front of Building 21 were the perfect pairings to get everyone envigorated for the five kilometre run/walk inside the base.

Antoni Kieloch, PSP Fitness Instructor, was the OPI for the WCC. Other members of the PSP fitness staff along with a few other CFMWS employees helped out during the event.

The RCAF Band’s Dixieland Ensemble provided some live musical accompaniment prior to the start of the challenge.

“This is a great opportunity for the Wing, 1 CAD, and 2 CAD to all come together to promote a healthy lifestyle,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Setter, CO of 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron, who brought greetings in lieu of Wing Commander Colonel David Proteau.

Since the RCAF Run is not taking place this year, the WCC was organized as a replacement activity, noted Christina Bailey, Senior Manager PSP, in her brief opening remarks.

“However, there is a virtual run taking place, which is raising funds for the RCAF Centennial in 2024,” she said.

“The money will come back for programs on the bases.”

Right now, Winnipeg is the leading Wing and base (in Canada) for registration in the Virtual Run, Bailey added.

As she strolled along the road with some colleagues, Corporal Samantha Bauer, who works in the Wing Comptroller’s Officer, called the morning’s activities a good way to have unit participation and get out and have fun.

“I was not coordinated enough for the warmup,” she said with a laugh. “It was a good warmup, though. It’s good to get into it.”

Major Carolanne Caza, who also works in the Wing Comptroller’s Office, expressed comments similar to Cpl Bauer.

“It’s great today,” she said.

“I wish it were a bit more sunny. But, it’s a great to get together and have some fun.”

She also noted that she works out twice weekly now because she’s “heavily pregnant.”

Audrey Thompkins, a civilian DND employee at the Wing Comptroller’s Office, who retired from the CAF in 2008, also loves getting out in the fresh air.

“I try to get my ten thousand steps in every day,” she said.

Master Warrant Officer Patricia Bell, from the Wing Comptroller’s Office, labelled the entire morning’s experience “fantastic.”

“It’s fostering a good environment, good camaraderie and positive morale,” she said, mentioning that she’s been in the CAF for 24 years now.

“It brings some life to our Wing environment. I’ve got a lot of energy because I love people and the environment and what the Wing offers.”

“This is a good chance to get away from work and have a little bit of fun and exercise,” Master Corporal Mike Cook, who works at CIS Flight 17 OSS, said.

Corporal Danny De Souza, who also works at CIS Flight, was equally as enthusiastic about the WCC.

“I think today is fantastic, “ he said.

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen everybody. It’s good to get out and get some fresh air. It’s a great social event too, and you’re able to get some exercise in the process.”

Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Stark, who’s at OSS, hailed the great opportunity to get out to promote some public fitness, and to get away from the office a little bit and have some fun.

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