By Maj. Marie Richter
First published in
SFOR Informer#119, August 8, 2001
Sipovo - On Saturday June 4, Sipovo football field
resembled a summer's day in Britain. In order to improve relations
between the local population and SFOR troops, and for everyone
to experience the best of British tradition, all departments from
Sipovo camp, part of the United Kingdom Battle Group (UKBG) set
up stalls which you would normally see in a Summer Fete. The event
was directed by G-5 (Plans and Policy).
Tug Of War
Several weeks ago a challenge was sent out to the whole of British
Forces in Multinational Division Southwest (MND-SW), to enter
a team into the Tug of War competition. Since then teams from
MND-SW have been training hard to improve strength and stamina
and meet the challenge.
Tug of War competition appealed to the locals' curiosity, and
soon they were cheering alongside the British supporters. Even
as the temperatures rose above 35 degrees, teams were not deterred.
The ladies team of Banja Luka took the first pull from Sipovo
ladies team. Then it was 'game on' as the men dug their heels
in and gave their all in order to win the heats and take the first
prize. Despite fierce competition and an increase in testosterone
levels throughout the field, A Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Green
Jackets, walked away with first prize.
Fun and Games
department had brought their favourite traditional stall with
them, adding to the fun element of the day. Local children tried
their hand at bash the rat and the blindfold assault
course. Though they were not able to speak the same language,
words were not needed for the soldiers and local people to enjoy
the fun of the games. A taste of the olde English
was brought in the form of village stocks. Volunteers from the
officers of Sipovo camp took their place as willing victims. Off
duty psychiatric nurse Capt. Fiona Cameron was thrown in the stocks
for a taste of alternative therapy from her fellow
workers and local residents in the form of wet sponges, most of
which hit right on target. A dripping Fiona said, "Today
is all about sharing our traditions and having fun with local
residents. We have an excellent rapport with them and I hope they
enjoyed themselves, even if they do go away thinking we are totally
Children were given a chance to operate a crane by remote control,
knocking down footballs on stands with a swinging punch bag hanging
on the end of a chain.
Taste of British cooking
The chefs from Sipovo base gave residents a taste of British field
cookery, and as not a crumb was left it was presumed a success.
A lesson in cake decorating with residents taking home their creation
was very popular, and although some of the cakes didn't look like
they were of confectioners standards they were all edible at least.
The favourite with the younger children was the face painting.
Tigers, union jacks and butterfly faces proudly walked out of
the tent happy for all to view their new creations.
The day ended with a demonstration from the dog section, then
all went home with some souvenir from the day. The only thing
the British missed out was the rain.
Related links: Miscellaneous
Nations of SFOR: UK