“The military is always striving for excellence, in turn the necessity for sport is hugely important; not only for our physical fitness but also for our mental robustness. Studies have shown that taking part in sport is healthy while building communities and boosting morale. In this modern world of smart devices and new technologies, the importance of sport and physical fitness has never been more prevalent.
I have always been a keen advocate of sport, with football being my first real passion. Social cohesion and physical exertion have always gotten the best out of me, enabling me to demonstrate my desire and grit to compete. In 2003, I joined the military and after many months of trade training I was posted to RAF Brize Norton which gave me my first glimpse of sport in the military, the passion, desire, and competitiveness was nothing like I have ever experienced.
Playing football for a number of years was always enjoyable but never gave me that sense of achievement I strived for. Nine years after joining the RAF, I volunteered for a role overseas to Cyprus, in my first week I saw a poster saying, “Tennis coaching available”. I asked myself, am I too old to begin a new sport? I enjoy watching tennis and played a little through school but never had the chance to experience coaching or play competitively. So, I grasped this opportunity and began coaching lessons. A little over a year later and after many hours on court, I was selected to train with the RAF tennis squad, travelling back to the UK each month.
A little over a year later and after many hours on court, I was selected to train with the RAF tennis squad.
Sport in the RAF has facilitated me through my career, ranging from physical fitness to improving my mental robustness. As the current Deputy Director of the RAF Lawn Tennis Association, I am extremely grateful to the RAF Central Fund for their continued support. Not only have I benefitted from their support through the Association but I have also been successful in several sports grants applications for lots of tennis kit over the years. Playing the RAF Sports Lottery is a great way of giving back to the charity and helps them to continue their support to sport at all levels in the RAF. I have been lucky enough to win a cash prize a few times over the years too!”
Sgt Luke James
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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.