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Trust Puts Squadron in a Different League

Published: 04 Jan 2018

Footballers from 617 Squadron, who are deployed in Beaufort, South Carolina in the US, achieved their goal when they netted a generous grant from the RAF Charitable Trust to fund new kit.

Calling themselves Dambusters FC, the team known as F-35 Lightning II Force, competed in the Beaufort County Soccer League finishing a respectable ninth.

Senior Aircraftman Technician Matthew Gardner said: "Since being deployed, 617 Squadron has had little opportunity to play sports due to the lack of funding available on a Marine Corps Air Station. With generous funding from the RAFCT we've been able to put together a team and purchase a full kit to compete in the Beaufort County Soccer League."

The Trust grant has enabled the team to purchase new kit for 20 players. As well as helping to keep personnel fit, participation in the sport has helped promote a number of important values and skills amongst the squadron, including teamwork and commitment. 

Matthew added: "In a short space of time, football training has become immensely popular among personnel of all ranks and has boosted morale after long work hours. As we spend a lot of time away from family in the UK, this team has helped forge great new relationships.

"The purchase of this kit gave the team a fantastic opportunity to play in a county league with nationalities varying from Mexico, USA to Honduras and the UK. The squadron greatly appreciates the help from the Trust."

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