Sky high drama aids youth theatre group

Tony Jones doing a skydive for Bawtry Theatre
Tony Jones doing a skydive for Bawtry Theatre
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TWO intrepid members of a Doncaster theatre group got more than stage fright when they jumped out of a plane at 15,000ft.

Sarah Cowan and Tony Jones, of Bawtry Amateur Dramatic Society, successfully completed a sky dive at Hibaldstow Airfield in North Lincolnshire to raise money for the major refurbishment of the town’s Phoenix Theatre.

Pensioner Tony, who is 68, and Sarah, 32, decided to undertake the highly challenging adventure on behalf of Phoenix Young Players, of which she is the drama coach and Tony the director.

Primary school teacher Sarah said: “My reason for selecting this challenge was that I am frightened of flying. I am very proud to say to say that I actually did it.

“It is an experience that I will never forget. It really took some bottle.

“My heart was in my mouth when I jumped from the plane strapped to my instructor and we were immediately free falling at 200mph, which made it very difficult for me to breathe.

“We were falling for a minute before we reached 5,000ft when the parachute opened.

“My mum and dad and friends from the theatre were there to give me support. I was the last to exit the plane and they knew to look out for an orange chute. The whole experience was filmed and I have shown it to the boys and girls at school and to the young people at the theatre. It was good for them to learn that adults can be scared and that fears can be overcome. They are all delighted that Tony and I were able to complete the challenge.”

Tony, a retired Hayfield School teacher, said: “It was a fantastic experience and something that I would do again.

“I was very nervous when it was my turn to jump but it was a comfort knowing that Wes my instructor is hugely experienced, as he had made over 4,000 jumps. The feeling that you immediately get when you go from nought to 200mph is amazing.

“The drogue parachute is the first to open and after that you can enjoy five minutes of floating earthwards. The views up there were fabulous and we could see the countryside for miles around and the sea off the coast of Bridlington.

“Wes let me a have a go at steering the parachute and the next thing that I knew we were coming down to land. It was the experience of a lifetime and I was sorry that it was over.”

The money being raised by Bawtry Young Players will help to pay for new dressing rooms at the Phoenix Theatre.