- Bumble Bees team up with Dragoons
- Remembrance Day festival debut in Bingley
The Royal Dragoon Guards will be joining the fast-expanding collection of teams on the fixture list of the Bumble Bees Barbarians, when they take part in a Remembrance Day tournament at Wagon Lane, Bingley on Sunday (November 10).
The Bumble Bees were the English pioneers of contact rugby for mixed ability teams and their success in providing an opportunity for players with a range of disabilities has not only brought them international recognition and fixtures in Wales and Scotland, but has also spawned interest in their activities in a number of clubs.
The visit of the Catterick Garrison based Royal Dragoon Guards is a ‘first’ for the Bumble Bees in that they have not previously had a fixture with a team from the military.
“I served in the Royal Dragoon Guards for six of the 14 years I was in the army and when we were looking for opposition on Remembrance Day, they came to mind,” said Bumbles official and tournament organiser, Simon Myers.
“The lads have recently returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan and this will be the first time they have pulled on their rugby boots. When I spoke with their officer in charge of the rugby team, Major Tim Wright, he jumped at the chance. They are just pulling the team together again after being away and this fixture gives them something to focus on and rally around.
“We’ve had military teams at Wagon Lane before, but this is something completely new for the Bumble Bees – and we’ve already accepted a return fixture at Catterick next season!”
Confirmation of the enthusiasm being shown by the visitors comes via the fact that while Remembrance Day may be very apposite for an event to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and the Help for Heroes charity, it presents some logistical issues given that a number of team members have parade commitments at different locations on the morning of the game.
Joining the RDG on Sunday will be another contingent from Catterick Garrison, a group of players from the Phoenix Centre at the base, which is the Army Recovery Centre for soldiers wounded in action.
“They heard that the RDG were coming down to Bradford and got in touch to ask if they could put a team in the tournament,” said Myers. “They are at the very beginnings of exploring the boundaries of rugby for some of their men and while they will not have a full team at this stage, that is unimportant.
“When we founded the Bumble Bees, we only had a handful of people wanting to play, but that has grown brilliantly to the squad we have today. Hopefully the Wounded in Service team will be encouraged by joining us on Sunday and be able to develop a rugby format that gets their lads back into the game.
“We also have a Morrison’s Social XV completing the line-up and it would be great to get a good crowd to Wagon Lane to support two very worthy causes.”
Action is scheduled to begin at 1.30pm and food/refreshments will be available.