During November 2019, DTA staff headed out of the office and tackled a day of team building at the Navy’s Tamaki Leadership Centre.  This was to integrate new staff members as well as interns who would be joining the workforce for summer.

Two Navy Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) prepared the group for the day’s events with stretching, warm-up exercises and briefings on the equipment we would be using. 

The first and biggest challenge for the day was the Navy Obstacle Course.  This is a 1500m long course with multiple obstacles to overcome either individually or as a team.  For a team to succeed on the obstacle course, every member must participate and give their best and doesn’t just require strength and fitness.  A ‘problem-solving’ approach and teamwork are the keys to success.  A sample of the obstacles are:

  • Two and 3 metre walls
  • ‘Leopard crawling’ under barbed wire
  • Crossing wire-rope bridges, and
  • Walking along narrow logs

Our PTIs were great fun and accommodated the varying ages and physical abilities of those present.

Another highlight of the day was the tunnel exercise — the tunnels which are from the World War Two era run underneath the old coastal defence gun emplacements and are used to build team work in pitch black conditions.  Each team of 6 people has to work together and navigate their way to the exit as quickly and as safely as possible.

The day challenged everyone who participated and resulted in strong bonds being formed.  More importantly the confidence course experienced helped to connect DTA scientists more closely with their military colleagues. 

One of the best days out - I didn't realise I was capable of getting over that wall! - Cynthia Morecambe

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