23 January 2014
LPTI Lou Thyne (right) is congratulated on becoming Sailor of the Year by Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer. The Commanding Officer of HMNZS TE MANA, Commander Shane Arndell (centre) enjoys the moment.
Christchurch-raised Leading Physical Training Instructor (LPTI) Lou Thyne has been named the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Sailor of the Year for her outstanding work aboard the frigate HMNZS TE MANA during its deployments over the past 12 months to Asia and the Gulf of Aden.
She was presented with the award by Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer in a ceremony on board TE MANA in the port of Mumbai, India, last night.
As the sole physical training instructor on board TE MANA, LPTI Thyne, 25, is responsible for the fitness of 182 officers and crew. She runs intensive fitness programmes and has been involved in numerous activities including the ship’s participation in the Movember men’s health charity and the production of a Christmas video for family and friends back home.
“I get a lot of job satisfaction out of helping people achieve their goals and pushing them outside their boundaries to show them that you can achieve things if you are determined and you want to,” she said.
“This deployment is new ground especially for me because I am a relatively young PTI. I love the challenge; there’s only one of me on board so I have to be very self- reliant and motivated.”
LPTI Thyne, who attended Mairehau High School in Christchurch, joined the Navy in October 2008, initially as a chef. But her passion was and is fitness and she was driven to become a physical training instructor, an important role in the military where fitness is of major importance. She finished the PTI course in 2012 and shortly afterwards posted to TE MANA.
“I like the constant challenges of being in the Navy. I enjoy meeting new people, and the friends that I make. Being in the Navy allows you to be an individual in that you can pursue your goals, advance and develop professionally and manage your career. It’s all up to you; you just need to be determined. The other side of the coin is that you work in a team environment and you’re part of a larger Navy family—I enjoy that.”
LPTI Thyne was taken by surprise when Rear Admiral Steer announced her award during a scheduled ceremony to award service medals to TE MANA personnel. “It came completely out of left field for me. I am immensely proud to have been awarded Sailor of the Year.”
Congratulating LPTI Thyne, Rear Admiral Steer said she brought outstanding professionalism to her job and showed incredible commitment to the Navy.
TE MANA is making a port visit to Mumbai before returning to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, where the frigate has been conducting counter-piracy operations as part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151). It returns to New Zealand in March.
For more information, please contact the Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.