HMS Temeraire has once again opened its doors to a large group of children to enjoy a week of sporting activities organised by Kings Camp. As a key financial supporter of Kings Camp in the Royal Navy, we paid a visit on Tuesday 26 July to see how the children were getting on.

Kings Camp

Kings Camp is the leading provider of holiday sports and activity day camps for children and works closely with many Naval communities across the UK. As a charitable organisation, Kings Camp focuses on the experience of each child attending camp. With inspiring coaches, children experience a wide range of sports and activities whilst making new friends and developing a love for an active, healthy lifestyle.

With 25 years' experience, more than half a million children already have happy Kings Camp memories; activities include a wide range of sports, socialising, interacting and learning new skills from their experiences. With full use of sports facilities including swimming pool, indoor and outdoor facilities, the inspiring Kings Camps coaches ensure all children are fully involved in the activities.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has made a large contribution to Kings Camp so that parents have access to subsidised places for their children. Instead of the normal charge of £170 for the week, the cost to the parents is now only £60 per child, per week. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity sees these camps as a fantastic opportunity for children to have access to sports facilities and training that they otherwise may not. It is also an unusual opportunity for the parents to have some alone time in the summer, something which is difficult for most naval personnel, especially those on regular deployment.

HMS Temeraire 2016 visit

This year, Kings Camp returned to Portsmouth for the fifth time and swiftly became the most successful camp to date with spaces selling out very quickly with a huge waiting list of 27 children. In comparison to previous years, this camp has seen more five to eight-year-olds than the older ages.

On arrival, we visited the main sports hall, which is also home to the RNRMC funded indoor climbing wall, where around 20 children were playing badminton. The hall was full of laughter and chatter as they practised their hand-eye coordination under the watchful eye of the Kings Camp Red Tops. We interrupted briefly to capture their smiles in the below picture. 

King's Camp isn't all about helping kids learn new sporting skills, it is also about developing their own skills in areas such as lesson planning and training. After badminton, we visited the 'Rookies' who are doing just that. They were working together to think of games that they could teach other children in a class. The group of five, aged between 13 and 15, spoke enthusiastically and confidently about their ideas ranging from how exactly their game worked, to how they think it will benefit the participants. Below is an image of this year's rookies.

Photo (right to left): Aaron Smith, 15; Ottilie Moran, 13; Kirsty Powell, 14; Stanley Pearson, 13; and Seb Hutchings, 13

Finally, we walked on to the outdoors playing field where five or six small groups of children lined up ready to compete in a series of different activities including bean bag races, long jump, and tennis. 

We spoke to birthday girl Mia, who turned eight the day of our visit, and Lucy who is six to see what they thought about Kings Camp. Mia, for whom this is her fourth camp, immediately shared that her favourite part is the swimming, something which she doesn't generally have access to outside of the camp and Lucy agreed with her. They both spoke with smiles on their faces of their game of Fishy Fishy Sharky Sharky. 

Our invitation to the camp came from 'Tiny' Nash, a Physical Training Specialist Adviser in the Royal Navy to meet the children and also King's Camp CEO, Richard Holmes, both of whom are pictured below. Tiny said: "This is our fifth year in the eastern / Portsmouth area and it has by far been the most successful camp to date after selling out very early on, with a large waiting list of 27 children. It is a shame to have to turn children down so, it is our ambition to get more children on camp next year and try and reach 100.

"We are continually working with military bases to give more and more children access to our camps to help them gain new skills and experience in sports, socialising and interaction." 

Photo: King's Camp CEO, Richard Holmes, and Wo1 PT 'Tiny' Nash, a Physical Training Specialist Adviser in the Royal Navy