Paint­ballers back the Poppy Ap­peal

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­

GREAT Chart Paint­ball is of­fi­cially open­ing its new D-Day land­ing arena to co­in­cide with Re­mem­brance Sun­day on Novem­ber 9 and to raise funds for the Poppy Ap­peal.

For ev­ery 100 paint­balls pur­chased on the day they are do­nat­ing 50p to the char­ity, which should amount to a sub­stan­tial amount of cash.

The arena is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the venue which is at Great Chart Golf & Leisure.

Joint owner Grant Kay said: “We are pleased the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion are al­low­ing us to help con­trib­ute to the amaz­ing job they do in sup­port­ing all those brave men and women who have, and still are, giv­ing their lives so that the rest of us can live in peace.”

In the new area they have built two land­ing crafts arriving on a beach with tank ob­sta­cles known as “hedge­hogs”, wire and smoke.

Be­fore launch­ing the ap­peal they ap­proached Royal Bri­tish Le­gion com­mu­nity fund-raiser for Kent, Clare Saun­ders, to get ap­proval.

He said: “Our con­cern was that we did not in any way wish to dis­re­spect the sol­diers that had lived through the hor­rific re­al­i­ties of the D-Day land­ing when so many lost their lives.

“Clare un­der­stood our con­cerns but told me that every­one recog­nises that there is a dif­fer­ence be­tween the real thing and play­ing games.”

Grant’s brother John Kay said that their grand­fa­ther served in the First World War at the Somme and Pass­chen­daele and was lucky enough to re­turn home.

He said: “We hold th­ese brave sol­diers in ut­most re­gard. Dur­ing our safety talks we also try to ed­u­cate the youngsters with facts about the war, such as if a sol­dier stood on firm ground in the Somme it was nor­mally a dead sol­dier. We also aim to erect a plaque by the arena in hon­our of the brave men and women.”

Great Chart Paint­ball now boasts five are­nas for war games for play­ers aged from eight up­wards.

Those wish­ing to sup­port the Poppy Ap­peal at the cen­tre can turn up as groups or in­di­vid­u­als.

Paint­ball teams will be sup­port­ing the Poppy Ap­peal

Pic­ture: Martin Apps pd1498119

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