A STUNNING display of strength, courage and agility marked the end of a gruelling course that trains Royal Navy instructors in keeping sailors fighting fit.
Fifteen physical trainers marked their passing out in style at Portsmouth’s HMS Temeraire – the navy’s school of physical training – in front of more than 200 guests.
The last six months have been very demanding, both physically and mentally, but I can’t wait to start in my new role.Leading Physical Trainer Matthew Jones
The graduates have qualified as leading physical training instructors and will now be spread across the Senior Service’s shore bases to coach sailors in health and fitness.
The 70-minute display included many of the traditional skills taught on the six-month course including club swinging, rope climbing, gymnastics, dancing the hornpipe and performing at height on a window ladder.
Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Willetts, Temeraire’s training officer, said the display was an important day in the career of the new fitness chiefs.
‘It’s a small, select specialisation within the Royal Navy but it is rich in quality and its standards are of the highest order,’ he said.
‘We firmly believe that the 15 qualifiers have demonstrated all the necessary attributes that are needed to join this unique branch.’
The course covers circuit and weight training, strength and conditions, fitness testing, sports science and diet and nutrition.
Students learn basic coaching skills in a range of sports, from football and hockey, to boxing, as well as event management.
Among the students was Leading Physical Trainer Matthew Jones, aged 31.
He said: ‘The last six months have been very demanding, both physically and mentally, but I can’t wait to start in my new role. My success and achievements are a credit to the support I’ve had from my family.’
The other students passing out were Ben Priddey, 31, Elise Broughton, 27, Etham Yates, 25, Andrew Lowes, 26, Carl Stubbs, 27, Catherine Forrest, 25, Susan Badger, 27, Megan Meyer, 26, James Johnson, 29, Michael Payne, 28, Dean Roach, 28, Hayley Saunders, 31, Rachel Luckham, 24, and Aaron Snowdon, 25.