Service Boxing Night

On 6 March 2014, RAF Waddington threw its hat into the ring and held a Service Boxing Night of its own for the first time in four years.

The night saw 8 competitive bouts between teams representing the Royal Air Force and the Royal Artillery in front of a boisterous 300-strong crowd who were clearly looking forward to seeing some much anticipated carnage unfold in the ring.

As the hours ticked down to the start of the event, the usual chaos resulting from boxers’ weigh-ins and medicals ensued. At one point, one of the Army boxers was so over his weight limit that, in order to fight, his coach had him running outdoor laps of the sports pitch for over an hour to lose 2 kilos! Only then could he be allowed to box. (Much to the amusement of his RAF opponent who came in at weight!)

The bouts that stuck in the minds of most people were the opening bout, which saw 2 girls from the Royal Artillery give no quarter as they proceeded to batter each other for 6 minutes of unrelenting action which got the evening off to a thrilling start as the audience roared its approval, whilst the final bout of the evening was the perfect finish. Sgt Hayden MC of RAF Coningsby picked himself up off the canvas in the 1st round of hisSuper-Heavyweight contest to come back in dramatic style and win a points decision having totally outclassed his Army opponent. This result, much to the amazement of the dumbstruck Army boxer, probably earned the largest cheer of the evening and capped a fantastic night of sport enjoyed by the whole Waddington service community.

The night successfully raised over £4,000 (including a generous gesture from the WO & Sgts’ Mess, who kindly donated their bar profits) for two very worthwhile charitable causes – the Royal British Legion’s Battleback programme, and the Harley family who live here at Waddington. The Harleys are incredibly grateful for the money that will make a massive difference to the quality of life of their very young daughter Lilyanne who faces  immense challenges on a daily basis.

This night was 7 months in the planning and came together thanks to the hard work of numerous individuals in the closing weeks prior to the event. I guess the bar has now been set, as we look ahead to 2015 and organising an even better evening of Service boxing. For those of you that volunteered, came along and supported the night, thank you so much! I hope you’ll be able to attend next year’s event.

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