It was a win-win for the Army and Team Forces at Twickenham!

What a fabulous day on Saturday 4th May as Team Forces hosted its largest event of the year at the highly contested Army vs Navy Rugby match at Twickenham.

On a rather rare sunny day, around 450 of our sponsors, invited guests and military hosts enjoyed a wonderful lunch whilst being regaled by some of our past and future grant recipients. Huge thanks must go to our speakers: Preet Chandi MBE, Sally Orange MBE, Hari Budha Magar, Jonny Huntingdon, Lt Cdr Hugo Mitchell-Heggs, Aaby Aldridge and Zara Lachlan for sharing their truly inspirational stories. Their words highlighted the transformative importance of sport, challenge and adventure for both physical and mental wellbeing and exemplified that tenacity and willpower can enable triumph in the face of adversity.

Such an inspiring start to the day complemented a truly superb afternoon of rugby. The main event was the men’s match and with a half time score of 29 – 5 in favour of the Royal Navy it looked like a sure fire consecutive back-to-back win for the Matelots. However during the second half, with 46,000 fans watching on, the Army clawed their way back from disaster with Vereimi Qorowale scoring the winning try in the breath-taking dying moments of the match …. for an Army win of 43-42!  The following women’s match showcased some superb rugby and the Royal Navy women should be commended for their efforts but, for the second year in a row and showing great teamwork, the Army team produced a resounding 78-5 win against the Royal Navy.

Not only an excellent sporting spectacle, the Army/Navy Rugby event also raises funds for charity so it was particularly nice that one of the organisations we support, Little Troopers – a charity which supports all military children who have parent(s) serving in our British Armed Forces, regular or reserve – was selected as the charity for the day.

Final, and heartfelt thanks must go to our loyal sponsors for their commitment to supporting UK Armed Forces Rugby and the armed forces community as a whole. This epic inter-service sporting ‘battle’ wouldn’t have been possible without their financial input. We salute you all.

Army/Navy images kindly supplied by Alligin (UK) Photography

Thank you for caring for our Armed Forces and for giving so much back to our people. Your speakers summarised the extraordinary breadth and reach that Team Forces delivers.

A fantastic and inspired day, superbly organised, thank you Team Forces.

It was incredible to meet so many fascinating, Inspirational people all joined together in the Name of Sport, Mental health, Disabilities & Empowerment! It really has given me the Drive & to do more for Mental health, Disabilities & Sport!

The energy was electric, and it was fantastic to connect with fellow sports enthusiasts and professionals. Looking forward to more events like this!

What an amazing experience for our Athletes to watch the iconic Army v Navy Rugby Match at Twickenham thanks to Team Forces . It was great to engage with some of our supporters in a different sporting environment too! The AFPST Athletes enjoyed sharing their recovery journey, had a blast watching the game and loved the beautiful weather.

It was an honour to be hosted by the wonderful Team Forces and to hear from some of the remarkable, inspiring individuals taking on epic challenges of grit and strength across the globe.

Thank you for allowing me to speak to the audience about the power of sport and my quest to change the conversation on mental ill health, one fruit at a time, in the hope that others don’t ever get to the point I did where I could see no reason to live.

Sally Orange MBE, Team Forces Ambassador

To get a flavour of the day the Forces TV highlights are below for both matches.