The recent Army v Navy rugby weekend saw twenty-seven of our young Paderborn Pirates and Bielefeld Bulldogs travel back to the UK on a short rugby tour representing the Army youth team. The squad were well accommodated at Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover, allowing them time to fit visits to Hastings Castle and the Smugglers Caves, as well as having the opportunity to run their final training session before the main event. On Saturday, the squad moved to Twickenham to take part in a round robin tournament with teams representing the Navy. The tournament culminated in the squad playing the Navy teams at half time of the Senior match on the main pitch at Twickenham Stadium. A hugely enjoyable and memorable experience for all involved. 

Over the past couple of months the Paderborn Pirates have had to start saying goodbye to many coaches and volunteers. Capt Shaun Reeve, SSgt Gav Carruthers and Sgt Paul Chilcott have all been heavily involved in youth rugby across BFG for the last few years, being instrumental in encouraging many young people to take up the sport. We wish them all the best in the UK. Becky Carruthers deserves a huge thank you; her commitment to managing club registrations and providing Sunday refreshments has been invaluable the last three years. 

Paderborn Pirates will continue to run for the next few months thanks to the assistance of our remaining volunteers and coaches: Tony Wood, Sam Chilcott, Smudge, and Emma and Chris Hall. The time, effort and dedication shown by all the team is hugely appreciated, especially as we move forward through the drawdown of the garrison. The Bielefeld Bulldogs’ last session was held on Sunday 7th April. Everybody involved was sad to finish this final session but delighted to learn that their equipment has been donated to a local club, benefitting the local community.

Words by Sam Chilcott and John Boyle