Zero to Hero – Sophie’s Story

As a charity, the RAF Central Fund supports sport and physical activities across the RAF. It is important to us that everyone has the opportunity to try something new and remind personnel that RAF Sport isn’t just for those already playing high-level sport. SAC Sophie Wodecki is a great example of this, having developed a love and natural talent for a sport that she had never played before, to winning multiple events.

“I joined the RAF in 2019 as an Air & Space Operations Specialist and I have been posted at RAF Boulmer since. Within the short time I have been in the RAF, I have been deployed to Mount Olympus in support of Operation SHADER and RAF Scampton for Operation ASKER.

Whilst in the crew room at Boulmer and Scampton, I started to play Table Tennis as a recreational sport and found myself really enjoying it. As I started playing Table Tennis more frequently, I developed a natural skill for the sport and begun training with other members from the unit competitively. During this time, RAF Boulmer officially launched its own Table Tennis Club which we have been promoting across the unit.

A few months later I decided to attend the Table Tennis Academy at RAF Halton to further develop and consolidate my skills in the sport. Whilst at the academy I was selected to compete in the 2022 RAF Championships as well as the Inter-Services competition. These events gave me the opportunity to meet other players across the RAF who I found to be very welcoming and encouraged me throughout, regardless of my experience and skill level.

Table Tennis has been a great outlet for me to improve my physical and mental robustness.

After playing Table Tennis for only a short period and with it being my first time attending the RAF Table Tennis Championship, I went on to win the Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles events along with the award for Most Improved Female. I have gained a huge sense of achievement and pride by winning these medals and trophies as I participated with no intentions of winning, only improving my skillset. Additionally, RAF Boulmer won the Stations Cup which was a huge achievement for us as we only officially started the club a few months prior.

Table Tennis has been a great outlet for me to improve my physical and mental robustness. RAF Boulmer is quite an isolated unit, welfare facilities and sports equipment is essential for personnel to create that separation from work, improve team cohesion and promote healthy competition. RAF Boulmer has greatly benefitted from the Central Fund in the past and will continue to do so in the future. This support piece both at an individual and Station level is heavily reliant on the Sports Lottery, the RAF Central Fund’s principal fundraising tool. This is why I choose to play, knowing that I’m giving back to the charity that does so much to support me and others not only at RAF Boulmer but across the RAF.”

SAC Sophie Wodecki

Zero to Hero - SAC Sophie Wodecki playing Table Tennis

RAF Boulmer Table Tennis Trophies and Medals

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