Powder time for Army Big-5 winner

Snowboarder, Damian Ennion, receiving his Japan travel vouchers from Warrant Officer Jody Smith
Snowboarder Damian Ennion, right, receiving his travel vouchers from Warrant Officer Jody Smith. Photo courtesy of NZ Army Recruiting.

29 January 2009

The 2009 ski season may seem a way off, but it is fast approaching for one talented snowboarder. As the winner of the Army Big 5 competition of 2008, Damian Ennion (of Christchurch) will be flown to Japan in March, where he will test his skills on the world-renowned powder fields of Niseko ski resort.

The Army Big 5 competition was set up by the New Zealand Army to get boarders and skiers to recognise that their outdoor skills and sense of adventure could lead to careers as soldiers or officers. They partnered with Mt Hutt, The Remarkables, Treble Cone, Turoa and Whakapapa to find the best tricks on the slopes. Competitors were asked to video their snow tricks, then post their videos to a website for a chance to win.

The website, http://WWW.ARMYBIG5.TV attracted over 5000 users, with Damian Ennion’s silky run down Treble Cone proving most popular with voters and official judges.

Robett Hollis, acclaimed snowboarder, and one of the judges, commented on Damian’s video, saying “[He] absolutely killed it!! With smooth turns and a fluid and powerful style, Reon showed us what it is all about - FUN!”

From the Army’s point of view this has been a rewarding project.

“The qualities of a soldier and an aspiring boarder or skier are similar. You have to be adventurous, committed, and enjoy what you are doing,” says Major Sara Harrison, Director of Army Recruiting.

“When looking for the best soldiers it makes sense to challenge people when they are in their element.”

The Army was impressed by the talent of all competitors who took up the alpine challenges. It hopes the exercise inspires them to find out more about the challenges offered by the New Zealand Army and proves that they indeed, “have what it takes.”


For more information go to or contact Bas Bolyn, Media Adviser (Army) on 04 496 0285 or 021 478 574.

This page was last reviewed on 5 October 2010.