On a very cold Sunday 24 February, 54 cadets and 40 staff and friends, from 10 Squadrons across Thames Valley Wing, attended the Madjeski Stadium in Reading to see London Irish play London Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Rugby. The event was organised between the RAF Benevolent Fund and London Irish, with the Club offering concessionary tickets to all within the RAF community, with a donation on RAF/ATC ticket sales towards the Fund.
Whilst an RAF Recruiting Trailer, and the Wing’s WASP Media trailer, demonstrated the ‘Light-Blue’ presence outside the Ground, the cadets enjoyed ‘team’ photos on the pitch before the match, and then provided a Guard of Hour, tunnel-lining party, for the teams as they came out for the second-half. For many of the cadets, this was their first visit to a major live Rugby match and they were treated to a thrilling game with London Irish emerging victorious, 30-19, easing the Club’s relegation worries.
Paul Hewson, the Regional Director (London and South East) for the RAF Benevolent Fund, was delighted with the ATC turnout and thanked all our cadets and staff for their magnificent support. Squadron Leader Paul Haines, the Wing Executive Officer, said ” This was a great day out for the cadets, despite the biting cold, and as ever they were tremendous ambassadors for the Corps and the RAF. The cadets really enjoyed getting out on the pitch, getting close to the players and meeting Digger, the London Irish mascot. My thanks to Dan Clarke, and all at London Irish, who looked after us so well”.