Members of the Bradford Bulls undertook team building of a different kind when they spent two days in the field learning survival skills.
Mick Potter, the Bull’s coach wanted the squad to be put under a different kind of stress than they deal with on the pitch and approached the RAF at Linton-on-Ouse, near York, for help as part of pre-season training.
Flt Lt Chris Bailey, physical education officer at Linton said: “The Bulls were told to arrive at 0500hrs on the Thursday and had no other knowledge of what was to take place.
For the next 12 hours they undertook survival lessons on shelter, fire and food, rescue signals, map reading and basic patrol skills.
“These lessons prepared them for a further 18 hours of training based around the team surviving in the aftermath of a downed aircraft in unfriendly territory. This then developed into a tactical situation where the team were being hunted down by enemy forces. They had to avoid them and work with friendly agents to escape to victory. This was by means of a final 9 mile timed speed march carrying all their equipment,” he added.
Mr Potter said: “The camp wasn’t rugby league but it was certainly a test of the players’ mental strength to see how they handled themselves under duress.”