Wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women from regional naval rehabilitation units in Plymouth showed their team spirit when they took part in an inter-recovery troop sitting volleyball tournament on Wednesday 1st October.
The competition was organised by Help for Heroes as part of their Sports Recovery programme and held in the state-of-the-art gym at the £23m Plymouth Recovery Centre, funded by the charity, within Devonport Naval Base. The sitting volleyball court is one of the country’s only permanent courts.
Teams included home sides Hasler Company and the Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility (PCRF), both based at Devonport, alongside 42 Commando’s Kangaw Troop from Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth and 40 Commando’s Termoli Troop from Norton Manor Camp in Taunton.
After four hours of hard fought competition – and a lot of laughs – Plymouth’s 42 Commando Team A came out victorious over Taunton’s 40 Commando Team B in the final, finishing 26-17 on top. Devonport’s Hasler Company took third place in their play-off against fellow home competitors PCRF.
Levi-Ray Hyde from Plymouth’s winning 42 Commando, who has played sitting volleyball before through the MOD’s Help for Heroes-funded Battle Back programme, said: “The tournament was good. It makes you look at things in other perspectives; it shows you can still do things. We had a couple of training sessions in the gym beforehand and I’ve played sitting volleyball before at Battle Back. It was brilliant winning; it’s always good to win.”
Royal Navy Able Seaman Hazel Smith, serving with Hasler Company, said: “I really enjoyed it. It was good to get everyone together laughing and joking regardless of the injuries. I’ve never played sitting volleyball before. It was painful for me as I have fibromyalgia but I enjoyed it and would happily play it again.”
The tournament – the first inter-recovery troop competition to be held at Help for Heroes’ Plymouth Naval Service Recovery Centre – has paved the way for future events with requests from those taking part to pit themselves against their military rivals in other sports.
Marty Aldrich, Help for Heroes Rehab and Physical Development Manager at the Plymouth Recovery Centre, said: “This tournament was a great way of bringing the various South West recovery troops together to reinvigorate the team spirit that wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women often want to find again when they’re taken out of active service through circumstances out of their control. The facilities that Help for Heroes have funded in Plymouth are here to be used. After the success of this competition we’ll certainly be looking to provide further similar opportunities as part of our sports recovery programme.”
For more information on the support available at our Recovery Centre in Plymouth, please call 01752 562179 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.