Bonfire night for the Raiders adds sparkle to club's funds

THOUSANDS of islanders ventured down to Footes Lane on Saturday to feel the thrill of this year’s Guernsey Raiders fireworks.

The celebrations for Bonfire Night is one of the rugby team’s main fundraisers and helps to keep it going.

The club stood second in the London & South-East Premier table before the league was halted and this season has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic meaning these funds are especially crucial now since the club has been unable to play a competitive game since March.

‘Our fireworks night is a huge fundraiser for us and has been going on for many years,’ said club secretary Sadie Merrien.

‘Last year there were 3,000 people here, which is fantastic. There’s a lot of effort that goes into this and, as one of our main fundraisers, we want to put on a show that everyone can enjoy.’

The team has, however, been promoted to National Two after the Rugby Football Union calculated final standings for the men’s and women’s community game on a best playing record formula.

Sparklers for, left to right, Chloe Dawson, 10, Alix Le Noury, 11, Sophie Wallen, 9, Cait Le Noury, 13, and Josh Dawson, 7. (28887264)

‘This money is what we put towards keeping us going, the funds are vital,’ added Mrs Merrien.

‘It goes towards team kits and so much more. We’re really appreciative of it and we all get stuck in. The referees are helping out, the first team is doing the barbecue, everybody wants to be involved, it’s a great night.’

The seats in the Garenne Stands were filled with islanders stocking up on hot chocolate and burgers, while the relatively mild night saw many take off their hats, gloves and scarves in preparation for the explosions of colour.

It was all worth the wait, especially for eight-year-old Soren Brun, who loved the excitement and danger he felt when they would go off.

‘I really like how the fireworks zoom and spin and when they bang when they go off,’ he said.

‘There’s so much colour and they look amazing.’

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