HC Deb 02 June 1992 vol 208 c694
7. Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he has any proposals to amend the list of sporting activities recognised within the armed forces.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

We have no plans at present to alter the list of sports which are officially recognised. The range of sports which enjoy official recognition is, however, kept under review to ensure that it reflects demand originating from grass roots level within the services.

Mr. Hinchliffe

The Minister will recall meeting an all party delegation in March about the recognition of rugby league in the armed forces. What steps were taken to communicate the outcome of that meeting to the heads of establishments and units within the armed forces? Why, at certain RAF stations, were station orders posted indicating that personnel should not have contact with the rugby league's national development officer? Why were personnel at RAF Marham, who were organising a rugby league competition next Saturday, refused permission to use the pitches at that base? That seems to be completely against the spirit of what was agreed at the meeting in March.

Mr. Hamilton

As I assured the hon. Gentleman at the meeting, we were happy to give him all possible facilities in terms of publicity material which would be circulated within the three armed services. I have no idea why facilities should have been debarred or such notices put up: it is totally against the spirit of the undertaking that I gave the hon. Gentleman at our meeting, and I will investigate both events.

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