Royal Navy backs Portsmouth Lord Mayor's city-wide fitness quest

FITNESS fanatics from the Royal Navy have thrown their weight behind the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth's quest to make the city a healthier and more active place to live.

Dozens of sailors at Portsmouth Naval Base pledged to join the Small Changes Big Difference campaign during an event attended by the city’s first citizen.

Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason exercising with the Royal Navy sailors     Picture: Habibur Rahman

Mayor of Portsmouth Lee Mason exercising with the Royal Navy sailors Picture: Habibur Rahman

Officially launched in June, the ambitious effort aims to see a total of one million miles walked, one million hours volunteered and one million pounds in weight lost by participants before Councillor Lee Mason’s term in office ends next year.

The Lord Mayor joined sailors in a simple set of exercises – hours after landing back in the UK following a tour of Portsmouths in the US. He said: ‘It’s great to have the support of the Royal Navy – they’re an integral part of this city.’

Fitness instructors led the set of circuits showing off a range of exercises that can be tackled at home without the need for weights or gym equipment. Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton, a Royal Marine chef, then showed off how to cook a couple of nutritious meals that are cheap and easy to make.

Commodore Jim Higham, naval base commander, was proud to support the effort and hoped the rest of Portsmouth would follow suit.

He said: ‘We want to support everything that the city does but especially supporting them in something based on fitness – something that is so important to the navy as a fighting service.’

He added: ‘This is really gutsy thing the Lord Mayor is doing, taking this on himself. It's an impressive piece of personal leadership.’

Schools, businesses, groups and residents are urged to join. For details, see s​​​​​​​mallchangesportsmouth.co.uk​​​​​​​​​​​​​​