Rugby stars visit the Junglies
ON Wednesday 12th January rugby stars of Bath and Wasps Rugby Football Clubs visited the Commando Helicopter Force based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset to gain an insight into their training and role within the Royal Navy and wider military.
The VIP’s visiting RNAS Yeovilton included England and Wasps’ legend Lawerence Dallaglio, England and Bath Rugby legend Jeremy Guscott, Wasps’ hooker Rob Webber, Bath Rugby prop David Flatman, London Wasps owner Steve Hayes and Bath Rugby CEO Nick Blofeld.
The visit is linked to the annual St George’s Day charity Aviva Premiership rugby match at Twickenham. The Dallaglio Foundation is the main charity benefiting from the match but in turn it supports a number of Military Charities (last year was H4H and this year the charities are BLESMA – Limbless Veterans, The SBS Association, The Enemy Within and The Parachute Regiment Charity). The theme of the day is St George’s Day but military displays and stalls will be around the ground for all to see. Before the match starts The Cross of St George is abseiled down from the four corners of the ground by Royal Marines. At half time there is a parade of service personnel who have recently returned from Afghanistan.
During the visit the players were airlifted to 846 Naval Air Squadron by a Sea king MK4 helicopter where they were privy to an action packed day. The players also enjoyed a tour of 846 Naval Air Squadron where they met and chatted to many of the engineers working on aircraft and kindly posed for some photographs and signed autographs. The day concluded with a presentation from the Chief of Staff about the role of the Commando Helicopter Force with special focus on its role in current operations in Afghanistan. Photos from the day will be posted on the teams’ websites and in match-day programmes.
Organiser of the event, Colour Sergeant Jim Coulter commented that:
‘’The day was a great success for all involved. The players went away with a behind the scenes look at the Commando Helicopter Force and an understanding of the immense effort that goes into achieving what we do, whilst service personnel were lucky enough to hear the honest views of the players‘’.
The event provided the players and staff of the clubs an enlightening insight in to the work of the force and the wider military. This will enable them to better support their respective charities and generate further support.