STUDENTS got a taste of commando life when they were put through their paces at a Royal Marine training session.
Year 11 pupils at Horndean Technology College were made to crawl through mud, run up and down hills and drop for press-ups at the session run by Commando Ricardo Montanari and Corporal Joel Oliver, from the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre, in Devon.
The hour-long session was exactly what Royal Marines do three times a day in their training sessions, and for some students it was a real eye-opener.
Ryan Hancock, 16, of London Road, Cowplain, has already signed up to join The Parachute Regiment of the British Army after finishing his GCSEs in the summer.
He said: ‘It was really hard work, and that’s not even half of what they do every day in the marines.
‘I was worn out by the end of it, but I enjoyed it a lot.
‘It’s not put me off joining the army – it’s actually made me more excited about it.
‘I always wanted to join since I was a kid, and now I’ve seen what it’s going to be like I know I’m going to love it.’
The youngsters were also taught the importance of listening to instructions and group discipline at the session.
Each time someone got an instruction wrong through not listening or was caught talking, the whole group had to drop for press-ups – just as real commandoes would.
Jamie Gibson, 16, of Monks Hill, Emsworth, said: ‘Everyone really got behind each other and started working as a team.
‘If someone saw that someone else was doing it wrong they would help them because they didn’t want to have to do more press-ups.
‘It really brought us together and we saw just how important it is to be disciplined in the marines.
‘It was challenging but we had a lot of fun.’
The visit was part of a week-long career event at the college, which also saw students create futuristic products and design their own island in workshops with the University of Portsmouth.
Cpl Oliver and Ricardo also held a workshop with the students, talking through what life is like in the Royal Marines.
Tim Hulse, the college’s advanced PE teacher, said: ‘Some of the students have already signed up to join the armed forces, or are considering doing so.
‘For them it confirmed what they already know and that they want to do it.
‘But for others it was a shock to the system and they found it really demanding. They couldn’t believe that Marines did it three times a day.
‘It showed them the importance of the role the Royal Marines play and taught them the value of discipline and teamwork in every day life.’