I'm an ex squaddie myself, & two of my kids are serving members of the forces at present. My youngest is, or rather was heavilly involved in sport. Eight years ago she took a Gold medal in the Commonwealth tournament; that was when she was still a civvy, & doing a lot of training. Four years ago at the Manchester Games, she had already been 'in' for a couple of years, & she had not had the chance to do any further sports training (in her sport) at all. In fact, prior to the games, her then unit was giving the rugby squad unlimited training time, the footballers got loads of time off, & every other regimental team it seemed, from darts to tiddlywinks got all the time off that they wanted, & more. She instead, was working until 2200+ each night, & at weekends; doing anything but training. She had to take time off as part of her annual leave, to compete at the Games; & she was given not one bit of encouragement or help at all by her unit, or the Army as a whole. It had been 'someone's' job, elsewhere in the British Armed Forces, to compile a book listing every member of the Armed Forces who was competing or officiating in any way at all, at those games; but more of that later. I did pen a letter for her, lying through my eye teeth of course, about all the encouragement she had received from her unit beforehand; which went to her CO. I would have preferred to have told the truth, but she'd have none of it. She came away with a Bronze medal, which was perhaps better than expected, given the circumstances; & the Regiment was read out the news on parade, the next morning (to much cheering, I'm told). After the Games, all those members of the Forces who had attended them in whatever official capacity, were invited to a dinner at The Mansion House, in London; but because her name had been omitted from the BIG OFFICIAL BOOK, as someone hadn't done their job properly, she didn't get an invitation. At least her then unit had helped her with flights & car hire arrangements for competitions; but all was about to change. Her next unit gave her even less opportunity to train, & even less backing or encouragement (if that was at all possible). For the Commonwealth this year, in fact, she was told that 'As you're not representing this unit, or the Army, then 'they' could not help her at all.' I ended up paying for her airfares myself. She took a Silver medal, & of course the Army was proud of her achievements again. This coming weekend she is due to compete in a competition in the UK, but will her unit, or the Army for that matter help with her transport or accomodation costs? You guessed it, NO! & I for one am getting pretty damned upset about it all. (Even more fizzing than I have been for the last six years or so). I did warn her before she joined, that they'd promise the earth, & they did. I know that there are many succesful & otherwise sports people in the Forces, who are aided & nurtured along the path to greatness or mediocrity; but it's the old story; & it all depends on whether your face fits or not, or doesn't it?