With the Band of the King’s Division starting proceedings with beating the retreat, this is sure to be an evening of fairy tale proportions. It’s time for you to eat like Kings and Queens with a sumptuous five course meal then it’s on to your chairs for a rousing last night of the proms sing along as you really get into the spirit of the whole occasion.
Then it’s time to trip the light fantastic, let your hair down, take a trip down memory lane where all the songs you heard were hits as we dance the night away with our fabulous showband. With carriages at 1 am this will be a truly magical experience for all attendees.
This year, Al Hodgson from ABF The Soldiers’ Charity will be speaking at the event. Read a short bio below.
Al was injured by an IRA bomb whilst serving as a 21 year-old Paratrooper in Northern Ireland in 1992. He suffered catastrophic injuries including losing his left leg below the knee and his right leg just below the hip. He spent the following seven years in hospital, where Al says he was ‘stitched up and had the bits he had left pieced back together’.
In 1998, whilst kayaking in the Lake District on an outdoor pursuits weekend, a member of the Red Devils Parachute Display Team, Paul Burns, suggested that Al do a tandem skydive near Nottingham at Skydive Langar. A year later, after embarking on an accelerated free fall programme, he became Britain’s first double amputee skydiver and the world’s first double amputee to learn to skydive post injury. Al later went on to skydive with the Army’s free fall display team – the Red Devils – and began competing at a national level in 2007, where he succeeded in winning six gold medals concurrently between 2007-2012. His discipline was Freestyle Skydiving, where he competed in a team with his wife Pixie.
Not content with national success, Al wanted to compete at international level but the high expense of training at this level and a lack of funding meant it simply was not possible. The Soldiers’ Charity heard about Al’s mission and provided the financial backing in 2010 to assist with the training costs over the subsequent three years, to ensure Al and his wife had a fighting chance. This enabled them to train at the highest level and secure a silver medal in 2010, and two bronze medals in 2011 and 2012, at the Skydiving World Championships held in Russia, Germany and Dubai. Al has since become one of the world’s best skydivers competing in a dynamic sport where there is no disabled category. He is the first person in the world to be taught post-injury to skydive without legs, and possibly the world’s only disabled athlete to compete and win in an all able-bodied field.
Al says that ‘the support that I got from the Army and The Soldiers’ Charity was invaluable; they had the confidence that I was committed to an intense training program and would bring home medals for Great Britain. The Soldiers’ Charity is my team.’ Al continues with his passion for skydiving, touring the world’s drop-zones offering help and advice to other injured skydivers, while of course jumping as much as is humanly possible!
What? St George’s Ball
When? Saturday 22nd April
Where? Lytham Green
How Much? £70 per ticket or a table of 10 for £650
What Time? 7pm