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Blind veterans compete in Sultan Summer Camp sports day

10 August 2017
Blind and partially sighted veterans competed in a sports day recently at the HMS Sultan Blind Veterans UK Summer Camp.

Blind veterans from across the UK gathered within the Hampshire naval engineering establishment as part of a week packed full of challenging and exciting activities designed to encourage them to make the most of life. 

Basketball, hockey, penalty taking and relay races were amongst the Sports Day activities and throughout the week the veterans will also take on a number of other exciting challenges around the local area including crazy golf, gliding and archery.

Brian Lang, who has been attending the Camp with his friend Billy Miller for 38 years, travels down from Liverpool every year to take part. 

This is very important; I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Brian Lang

A former Royal Army Service Corps driver, Brian lost his eyesight in a vehicle accident in Germany in 1960.

He said, “It’s great, that’s why I’ve been coming here for so many consecutive years.

“Over the years you meet your old friends, like Billy who I’ve known for 40 years. We’ve always kept in touch and you meet other friends down here.

“This is very important; I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Andy Salter, the organising secretary for the Camp added, “The ethos of Blind Veterans promotes independence and getting people back together in a military environment.

“I’m sure there’s language here that they haven’t used in their own homes for some years! They just look forward to this week and coming back here.

“This camp is a close-knit family, campers come back year on year but we’re also introducing new campers every year and it’s lovely to see the way they integrate.

“They come here full of trepidation - it takes faith to come here and put themselves into our hands and we respect how brave these people are to do it.

“Often veterans are so used to their families doing things for them that they stop believing they can do things themselves and it’s also important for their families at home, because this offers valuable respite care.”

Traditionally supported by the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew, the Blind Veterans UK Summer camp has been successfully hosted by HMS Sultan since 1996 following the closure of HMS Daedalus.

Many of those Field gunners who were associated with supporting the event prior to the move are still involved to this day.

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