Castanet: Urban Rec Dragooned
A group of locals got a taste of what it is like to be a part of the military Sunday – put to the test by the British Columbia Dragoons.
The Dragoons hosted about 50 enthusiasts from Urban Rec Okanagan, showing their guests what a day of military-style training with the Canadian Armed Forces is like.
Urban Rec is a local adult sports league with more than 1,000 members.
“Right now we have about 132 indoor sports teams playing various nights through the week, playing a whole bunch of different sports that we offer. We have 50 members out to try to see what the BC Dragoons go against in real day battle and in their training to become what they are,” explains Jaime Taverner, managing partner with Urban Rec.
“For me, it is important to try different things and try to find something fun and social for our members to do. I have been working with one of the sergeants and we came up with a really neat way to engage the members and have something fun to do.”
B.C. Dragoons Lt. Mark Jennings-Bates says the Urban Rec team was a perfect fit for their familiarization-day exercises.
“They actually get to experience exactly what we do as a trade,” says Jennings-Bates. “They are doing recce tasks here today.”
Guided by a team of army reservists from the local regiment, Urban Rec participants fired simulated weapons on the unit’s small arms trainer range, ran an obstacle course in chemical suits, established a thermal observation post and carried heavy loads while competing in a timed ruck march.
“They are a great group in terms of the fit with the type of people we find come through recruiting. So, we decided to have a familiarization day and maybe some of them will be interesting in joining.”
Jennings-Bates says the Dragoons themselves love to participate in these kinds of events.
“Often our exercises are once a month and we don’t get a lot of time to do this, so it is great when we can introduce a few people to what we do.”
He says there were big smiles on all faces and the Urban Rec team’s competitive nature was coming out with each team trying to beat the other’s time.
Taverner says Sunday’s activities were no easy task.
“I just went through the obstacle course with the full cameo gear and face mask, in case you know someone drops a gas bomb on us, and that is tough – without even the pressure they must go through.”