Two of our Central Fund team recently headed to RAF Boulmer for the official opening of not one but two new sports clubs, both of which were seed funded by our station level grants programme. Given the remote geographical location of Boulmer and the nature of the round the clock shift work, the new Kart Club and ESports Centre at the RAF’s base for UK airspace surveillance will go a long way in helping to enhance the community spirit on station and provide a great opportunity for serving personnel to decompress outside of work hours.
the new clubs at Boulmer will bring more social interaction, enhance morale and wellbeing
OIC of the Station’s Kart Club, Sergeant Steven Kavanagh said: “With RAF Boulmer being a remote Station on the Northumberland coast and with limited sport and recreational facilities around the local area, the addition of the new clubs at Boulmer will bring more social interaction, enhance morale and wellbeing, whilst also bringing some healthy competition between the sections around the Station.”
The grant awarded by the RAF Central Fund has enabled the kart club to purchase eight new karts as well as some essential supporting equipment. But what should really be acknowledged is the self-help attitude displayed by the project team at Boulmer, which included the sourcing of 500 used tyres from local garage companies and the many voluntary hours that were put in by personnel on station to build the track.
“The use of the track by serving personnel will improve the community cohesion and allow them to enjoy the facility without having to travel long distances to use other karting sites,” explains Sgt Kavanagh. “Having this on their doorstep means everyone can enjoy the fun and excitement of karting and the club is already looking to the future with plans to set up a Boulmer kart team to compete in the Inter-Station karting events.”
In addition to the new kart club, RAF Boulmer became the sixth RAF station to open an esports centre thanks to a sizeable Central Fund grant that has been the driving force behind the establishment of esports across the Air Force. The RAF Video Games and ESports Association advocates the community hubs that station level esports clubs create, recognising that they combat isolation by bringing personnel out of their rooms and provide a formal support network for those who already participate in esports at an individual level.
“Thanks to the RAF Central Fund we have been able to establish a gaming facility and form a station esports club here at Boulmer,” explains Sgt Kavanagh. “The potential benefits to the welfare of personnel, off-duty community, and competitive spirit that the development of station esports clubs will bring are limitless. Our arena hosts a wide range of equipment including flight/driving simulators, PlayStations, six gaming PCs, retro style consoles such as SEGA and Nintendo and even an old arcade machine with over 3,000 arcade games installed for all standards to enjoy.”
The RAF Central Fund’s Enrichment Grants Programme supports personnel on a larger scale, awarding bids to stations and units to benefit the maximum number of personnel. If you have been inspired by the station club support we have provided Boulmer and feel your station would benefit from Central Fund support to help with a new or existing sports club then you can find out more here.
Opportunities and Determination – Saul’s Story
20th April 2022
New bikes for new squadron club
6th April 2022
International Women’s Day – Jennie’s Story
8th March 2022
Support the RAF Central Fund
You make our work possible. Your donation can change lives.
Support the RAF Central Fund and win £10,000 Cash
Your chance to win from thousands of £s worth of prizes every week whilst supporting your RAF charity and enabling us to fund sport and physical activities across the RAF.
Plane pull challengers at RAF Coningsby
Eight teams of six people took on the challenge of pulling the BBMF Dakota, which weighs over 17,000 lbs, over a distance of 92m – that’s the sum of the wingspans of each of the five aircraft types in service with the BBMF.