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Rovers earn their wings at RAF base

10 August 2016

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Blackburn Rovers Community Trust spread their wings into new territory with a successful week-long soccer camp at an RAF base... in Yorkshire!

The Trust's coaching staff crossed the border to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, near York, where they helped to spread the Rovers word with a week of coaching, games and all-round enjoyment; helped in no small part by a good week of weather in the white rose county.
The week got off to the best possible start when all of the participants, aged between five and 12, were presented with a Blackburn shirt to ensure they had the right colours available to them, and concluded with everyone being presented with a special commemorative medal at the end of the week - also depicting the famous blue and white shirt.
The week was not only good PR for the club in a new area, but also for the base itself, which fostered good relations with its local neighbours by welcoming children from outside the site to sign in each day and experience the fun inside a unique location.
The connection between Blackburn Rovers and the RAF may not be immediately apparent, but can be traced back to a phone call received by Adrian Ward, the Community Trust's media coordinator. He explained:
"It all came about when we were contacted by Patrick Lewis-Brown at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, who is their community development officer. He wanted to know whether we offered coaching courses outside our usual area because he's godfather to Elliott Bennett, and wanted to find a football club with a logical connection.

"We were delighted to oblige, having been very impressed by the mixture of outdoor and indoor facilities at the base. It turned out to be a fascinating experience for the staff that got to go and stay in the officers' mess for the week, and we were really pleased with the smiling faces from all the children and parents who appreciated the unique event we were able to put on.
"The success of this event has already led to calls from other RAF bases all over the country, so it's a concept that we're probably going to get quite used to over the coming 12 months or so. We're looking forward to working with RAF Linton-on-Ouse over the longer term and are excited about being able to get to know other RAF sites when those opportunities are hopefully confirmed."
As a goodwill gesture, the Community Trust staff also delivered an evening coaching session to the mens' senior football team at the base to kick-off their pre-season preparations.
Closer to home, the same staff continue to deliver a great value Soccer and Sports Camp at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre, adjacent to Ewood Park. Open to children of primary school age, the course runs every weekday until Friday 2nd September from 9am to 4.30pm, and costs just £12 per day or £49 per week. Call 01254 508256 to place your booking.

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