Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

July 16, 2007 09:30 ET

Media Advisory/DND: Nijmegen Marchers Begin 160 Kilometer Trek

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2007) - The contingent of some 220 Canadian Forces (CF) personnel participating in this year's International Four Days Marches Nijmegen will begin the journey though the countryside and crowded streets of towns and villages in the Nijmegen area July 17.

Physically and mentally strong, the Canadian contingent is representative of the whole of the CF. The Canadian contingent is broken down into teams, with each team consisting of 11 personnel. Teams are made up of both Regular and Reserve Force members from across the country. During the months of training required to be selected for the Canadian contingent, candidates test both their physical and mental stamina by marching an average of 700 km with their rucksacks, which is why Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel consider it an honour and privilege to be selected for the gruelling four-day event.

The Nijmegen Marches is primarily a team event that develops such core military values as leadership, teamwork and endurance, and each team is expected to complete the marches successfully in good order and with the team intact. The marches are neither competitive nor a speed test, but they do require proper training and a good team spirit to ensure success.

The participation of a CF contingent in the Nijmegen Marches demonstrates our dedication to remembering the Canadians who died liberating the area around Nijmegen during the Second World War. During the four days of marching, CF members will walk the same terrain where so many Canadians fell. This year marks the 55th year of Canada's participation in the Nijmegen Marches, which falls on the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

The Nijmegen Marches originated in 1909 with Dutch military efforts to increase the long-distance marching and weight-carrying ability of infantry soldiers. It evolved into the world's largest walking event, attracting thousands of civilian participants as well as hundreds of other military teams. More than 40,000 marchers from at least 50 nations are expected to participate this year.

NOTE TO NEWS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS:

Teams in this year's Nijmegen Marches come from:

Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), Halifax/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia;

Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), Esquimalt, British Columbia;

Land Forces Atlantic Area (LFAA), Gagetown and Moncton, New Brunswick;

Land Forces Central Area (LFCA), Sault-Ste.-Marie and Petawawa, Ontario (2 teams);

Land Forces Western Area (LFWA), Edmonton, Alberta;

22 Wing, North Bay, Ont.;

12 Wing, Shearwater, N.S.;

17 Wing, Winnipeg, Manitoba;

3 Wing, Bagotville, Quebec;

Royal Military College (RMC), Kingston, Ont.;

CFB Borden, Ont.;

Ottawa, Ont. (2 teams);

Naval Reservists from across Canada;

294 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Chatham, Ont.

Interviews can be arranged between Canadian media outlets and Canadian Forces personnel who are in Nijmegen by contacting the Public Affairs Officer on location, Ms. Tina Crouse, at: 613-286-2398.

As still imagery of the Nijmegen Marches is obtained it will be posted on the Combat Camera website at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

For further information, visit the official website of the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen at: http://www.4daagse.nl/index.asp?taal=en&pagina=homepagina&interactivepage

For information on Canadian Forces participation in the Nijmegen Marches, visit: http://www.forces.gc.ca

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