Hundreds of Hartpury students were given an eye-opening experience yesterday as the Royal Marines touched down at the college to provide an insight into life as a soldier.
The elite branch of the Royal Navy spent the whole day at Hartpury as they put over 200 students through their paces in a variety of sessions, ranging from intense physical training to weapons briefings and leadership tasks. Students also scaled the heights on an outdoor climbing wall as the Royal Marines continued the search for their next batch of recruits.
Sergeant Justin Rich of the Royal Marines said: “It was a great day. We’re looking for young, keen and enthusiastic people and the students at Hartpury showed that in abundance. They were treated as if they were soldiers in the Royal Marines, particularly in the physical training session, and it was a great opportunity for us to show them the range of opportunities that exist with us.”
Hartpury students also had the chance to take a ride in the Marines’ amphibious landing craft on the college’s lake while a group of Royal Marine Commandos made a spectacular entrance by air as they roped down from a Sea King helicopter.
After being given a tour of the aircraft, the Royal Marines treated the students to an unarmed combat display to bring an action packed day to an end, although Hartpury students also had plenty of opportunities to find out more about careers in the Navy.
Josh Kempton, a 17-year-old Uniformed Public Services student from Worcester, said: “Having the Royal Marines at college has been really enjoyable. We do a lot of fitness on the course and we love a physical challenge but they really tested us!
“I have always been interested in joining the Marines and to be able to take part in activities and talk to officers has been really useful.”
Lukas Baker, a 17-year-old Uniformed Public Services student from Gloucester, said: “The whole day was an eye-opening experience and it was great fun to actually have a go in one of the boats that they brought along. I got a lot of information throughout the day and it will really help me in the future to make decisions about my career.”
Brendan Ward, Lecturer in Uniformed Public Services at Hartpury, said: “It’s great to be able to welcome the Royal Marines to Hartpury and it’s been a fantastic occasion. It was also great to see so many students get involved in all of the activities today and it is likely to encourage some to consider applying for the Marines in future.”
For those interested in a career in the military, the police, fire and rescue, ambulance or other public services, Hartpury College offers a range of qualifications that could provide the perfect preparation. To find out more, go to the UPS course page.
You can listen to the BBC Radio Gloucestershire live report during the day by clicking here. Scroll to 1:45:36 to listen.