Portsmouth sailors hope to summit tiring charity challenge

PO Mat Jones, 33, CPL Matt Carter, 30, AET Carl Stubbs, 27, and LPT Ian 'Smokey' Cole, 36, have all completed the Adventure Training Leaders course, and are pictured on the new indoor climbing wall''Picture: Sarah Standing (160163-309)
PO Mat Jones, 33, CPL Matt Carter, 30, AET Carl Stubbs, 27, and LPT Ian 'Smokey' Cole, 36, have all completed the Adventure Training Leaders course, and are pictured on the new indoor climbing wall''Picture: Sarah Standing (160163-309)

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A NEW purpose-built climbing wall is helping Royal Navy fitness fanatics in Portsmouth scale new heights for charity.

The facility, inside the navy’s physical training base HMS Temeraire, was paid for by a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC),

Our grants support the whole naval family. It’s not just the serving personnel of Portsmouth that will be more navy fit and ready to fight for this country – it’s their wives, girlfriends, husbands and children that will be benefitting too.

Hilary Jukes, fundraiser for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

And yesterday it hosted the opening day of the RNRMC’s latest fundraiser, The Road to Twickenham.

About a dozen sailors took to the wall to kick-start the campaign, which is hoped will raise more than £23,000 for the forces’ cause.

As part of it, teams will aim to notch up the distance between their work and Twickenham – some 71 miles from Temeraire – over 93 days using a combination of running, cycling, swimming, climbing and rowing.

It’s all part of the run-up to the famed rugby match between the Royal Navy and British Army in April.

Those first to take on the wall included four graduates of the navy’s new adventurous training leadership course.

Leading Physical Trainer Ian ‘Smokey’ Cole, was one of the graduates from the six-month course and had the chance to test the wall.

The 36-year-old, of Fareham, said: ‘I think it’s a great facility. It’s important because it’s another thing to help us encourage our sailors off the ships and to stay navy fit.’

Royal Marine Corporal Matt Carter, 30, was hailed as one of the top trainees of the course’s intake, clinching the Explorer Trophy.

He added: ‘This wall brings climbing to people’s doorstep and will hopefully encourage others to get fitter and keep fitter.’

Others taking on the task include the ship’s company of Portsmouth’s HMS Mersey, which is deployed in the Caribbean, who will collectively aim to run, row, cycle and exercise about 3,000 miles.

Hilary Jukes, fundraiser for RNRMC, said: ‘Our grants support the whole naval family. It’s not just the serving personnel of Portsmouth that will be more navy fit and ready to fight for this country – it’s their wives, girlfriends, husbands and children who will be benefitting too.’

The fundraiser is open to service personnel and the public. For details on how to join or donate, see www.rnrmc.org.uk or email fundraising@rnrmc.org.uk