Whilst most of the country was covered in white on Monday, Fleet was adorned in Red, White and Blue for an inaugural football tournament that supported three military charities.
The first Red, White and Blue Day 5-a-side tournament, hosted at the new Everyone Active Hart Leisure Centre, saw schools from Aldershot, Basingstoke, Fleet, Farnborough and Dogmersfield battle through the icy conditions to take part in a spectacular event.
This year’s theme for Red, White and Blue day was ‘Women in the military’ and this was embraced by all the schools in attendance who fielded at least one female player in every team. The 14 schools competing to be crowned champions played a series of group games, displaying impressive talent and an attitude that encompassed many of the military values.
Progressing to the quarter finals were Park View and St Josephs A and B sides, as well as Dogmersfield, Talavera, Wellington and Cliddesden – ultimately it was the Park View and St Josephs A and B sides that prevailed, setting up a clash between the two schools in the semi-finals and final.
St Josephs A and Park View A were the two teams to reach the final, putting every last bit of energy in to what proved an exciting game. St Josephs’ were the school to come out victorious after a game which went to and fro ended 4-3 to the Aldershot side.
The day would not have been possible without the kind support of all the staff at Everyone Active Hart Leisure Centre, who helped ensure all the children and staff were kept warm in between games by welcoming all in to the indoor facilities and in particular the café!
Luke Charlton, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We were delighted to support this event by offering our facilities for the tournament. It was a fantastic day, despite the weather, and we were very happy to be part of it.
“It was great to see so many young people getting active, especially in support of such a great cause.”
A huge ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ must also go to all the schools involved who contributed to an important day – raising awareness for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. The Trust was particularly delighted to welcome Independent Chairman Retired Major General Malcolm Wood CBE as well as Sheena Ross and Simon Lane from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
In 2018 – whilst we hope to host the day in warmer conditions – Red, White and Blue day will be commemorating the end of World War One. As well as inviting schools to compete in our football tournament we will also be assisting in the delivery of curriculum time sessions. The lessons will provide opportunities for the school children to build paper tanks, spitfires and battleships as well as learn about the day the German forces agreed to an Armistice.
Further to this The Trust continues to provide its award-winning schools programme throughout the year, encouraging the development of mental and physical wellbeing amongst local children.