Accolade for RAF squadron leader’s rugby achievement

Sqn Ldr Tim Barlow MBE
Sqn Ldr Tim Barlow MBE
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An RAF squadron leader has been given an MBE for his work in setting up a rugby sevens side.

Tim Barlow, currently serving at RAF Boulmer, was given the honour by the Princess Royal at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

A previous England U21and Premieriership representative rugby union player, Sqn Ldr Barlow used his expertise to instigate and develop a fledgling RAF Rugby sevens team, The Spitfires.

As player, coach and finally director, he has established and led the team to great success including competing at national level and winning overseas tournaments.

Sqn Ldr Barlow has used his energy and commitment to rugby as an outreach vehicle to bring rugby to the youth of South Africa, India and even Afghanistan.

Tim has also organised high-profile fund-raising rugby tournaments and events for charity raising £35,000 last year for various benefactors.

He said: “I am really shocked, although it is such an honour to receive this award.

“It is a real privilege, but a bit surreal to be recognised for something that I enjoy doing so much.

“Working with the Spitfires is extremely rewarding, the team is getting stronger and we are trying to push a couple of players into international teams.”