13 members from Infantry Training Centre (ITC) Catterick (six personnel from Gurkha Company, two personnel from 2 Infantry Training Battalion Headquarters and five from Training Support Squadron Battalion) visited Singapore as part of Overseas Sports Visit (OSV) over the period of 21st – 27th July 2019. This was the very first ever OSV of the ITC Catterick Basketball team which was organised by Staff Sergeant Niraj Gurung, General Staff and Personnel Support, Overall In-charge ITC Basketball Team.
One of the main purposes of the visit was to establish a cordial relationship with the civilian personnel and members of the Gurkha Contingent Singapore Police Force (GCSPF) which was achieved through the participation in a friendly basketball match. We played matches against the local Division A team Sin Kee Cesk (SKC), Senior Non-Commissioning Officers and the Officers of GCSPF with a view to develop a friendly social relationship as a part of Defence Engagement.
On the 22nd July 2019, we visited the British High Commission (BHC)Singapore where we were welcomed by Mrs. Alexandra E. McKenzie (Deputy Head of Mission, British High Commission Singapore) and Colonel (Col) J C Murray (Chief of Staff, British Defence Staff South East Asia). They delivered a briefing on their roles, their responsibilities and importance of the BHC in Singapore in order to maintain bilateral relationship with Singapore and around the South-East Asia. On 23rd July 2019, we got the opportunity to see training in progress of the GCSPF Intake 19 and they gave us information on their training requirements, equipment and their training facilities where new Gurkhas are trained for security of Singapore. This was followed by an educational visit to Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery in Kranji on 25th July 2019 where thousands of casualties who died in the First and Second World War are commemorated.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mrs. Alexandra E. McKenzie, Col J C Murray and Assistant Superintended Police 2 Tulsiprasad Gurung, The Gurkha Major GCSPF for all necessary arrangements during our visit to Singapore; without which our OSV would not have been as educational and successful. The OSV provided us the ideal opportunity to interact with the civilian personnel as well as meet the Gurkhas in Singapore through a sporting activity as well as to explore a new place and its culture.
By Rifleman Japan Rai, Gurkha Company Catterick