Marines put students through their paces

One of the many challenges faced by the Priestley students during the commando training
One of the many challenges faced by the Priestley students during the commando training

SIXTH formers trained with Royal Commandos to see whether they would be up to the challenge of becoming a marine.

Thirteen students from Priestley College – who are all studying the Public Services BTEC course – attended the Commando Training Centre, the principal training ground for the Royal Marines.

George Farrelly, who is 17, passed all the challenges during a week of intense training and was told he could potentially become a marine.

“I’m mentally strong, which really helped me,” said the former Cardinal Newman pupil.

“It was good to know I could make it, but I want to keep my options open after college so it’s not something I want to go into straight away.”

Over several days the Priestley students, many of whom want to join the Armed Forces or public services, were set testing physical challenges.

There were numerous endurance and obstacle courses involving cargo nets, wall climbs, bleep tests and press-ups challenges.

Alex Gleave getting some well-earned refreshment after one of the challenges
Alex Gleave getting some well-earned refreshment after one of the challenges

The students were woken at 6am and often ended the day muddied and exhausted from their efforts.

They were set the same tests as those taken by all potential Royal Marine Officers at Lympstone in Devon where, on average, 1,300 recruits, 2,000 potential recruits and 400 potential officers train every year.

Paul Mackinnon, Public Services Tutor at Priestley, said it was a unique opportunity to experience the commandos’ training regime.

“It’s hard for the students to imagine just how tough the training is until they are actually put through their paces by the marines themselves,” he said.

“Some of the students are hoping to pursue a military career so it is important they start to experience the physical demands they can expect in their futures.”

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