Portsmouth scouts step up Great South Run training

GET SET From left, Tom Cawte, Jack Hawkins, Nathan Woods, Robert Sainsbury, Ashley Thomas, Jack Walters, Chandler Hyde, Joshua Lee, Jacob Dyer and Jude Law. Picture: Steve Reid (123231-180)
GET SET From left, Tom Cawte, Jack Hawkins, Nathan Woods, Robert Sainsbury, Ashley Thomas, Jack Walters, Chandler Hyde, Joshua Lee, Jacob Dyer and Jude Law. Picture: Steve Reid (123231-180)
An aerial view of the Solent airfield. Picture by Shaun Roster

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MOST people like to train before a big run – but a group of Scouts are taking extra steps in their preparations for one of the world’s most recognised events.

Nine boys from 68th Portsmouth Scout Group have signed up for this weekend’s Bupa Great South Run in Southsea.

And to make sure they’re ready for the challenge one of the parents has been putting them through a rigorous training schedule.

Once a week Graham Walters, 54, who is dad to scout member Jack Walters, 15, makes the group run laps around a playground at Wimborne Junior School, Southsea, which is where the teenagers regularly meet.

The boys were initially made to do 10 laps but in the weeks leading up to the big day the number has increased to 50.

Their routine also includes muscle exercises and lessons on how alcohol and drugs affect athletic performance.

The team’s efforts will be worth it come the end of the 10-mile run on Sunday.

As well as receiving a medal they will be presented with two Scouting badges which recognise their knowledge of fitness and sport.

Mr Walters, who lives in Southsea, said: ‘The boys are developing some good life skills. I was asked to train them and I was more than happy to help.’

Initially 11 Scouts were due to take part but two had to drop out.

Despite that Mr Walters said this was the biggest number of Scouts involved in the race this year.

The group has previously competed four times.

‘In other years we only had four or five taking part so it’s great to see so many getting involved this time,’ he said.

‘We’ve had quite a few new members lately so it’ll be great to see everyone come together.’

As part of their challenge the group is raising money for The Neuro Foundation UK, which supports people with Neurofibromatosis, a condition which causes tumours to grow on the body.

Scout Anthony Bridgeford, 15, previously had the condition. Cash will also be collected for children’s charity Smile Train because Scout Chandler Hyde, 15, was born with a cleft lip. ‘The boys have shown a lot of enthusiasm,’ Mr Walters added.