Royal Marines deliver second Challenge Wandsworth

ROYAL Marines helped show how 150 young people in the capital can avoid knife crime by channelling energy and aggression into sport.

Commandos from Royal Marines Reserve City of London unit linked up with Harlequins rugby team, the Met Police, London Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service among others to deliver the second Challenge Wandsworth.

 

The event, first run in February and expanded to two days in its second run out, comprised six challenges delivered by the Wandsworth-based Royal Marines reservists, aimed at inspiring young people struggling in life to be inspired through sports, martial arts, outdoor pursuits and physical fitness training.

 

One aim was to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and on a more positive path, encouraging those on the edge of violence not to carry such weapons.

Another goal was nurturing respect for uniformed services among young people by showcasing the support the military and Public Services provide them and their communities.

 

Challenges covered topics such as: nutrition, self-defence, endurance, mental strength and self-esteem, embodying Royal Marines’ character and ethos:

Information on potential careers in the Forces and emergency services was given to students from several schools as well as military cadets.

It’s really important to give young people the opportunity to get together and work with youngsters from other schools… There’s a lot of discussion that they don’t get these opportunities with the schools’ focus on academic stuff.

Larry Davis, Southfields Academy deputy head

“I would probably join the Royal Marines or the Fire Service,” enthused 14-year-old Subhan Khan. “It interests me because they go into dangerous stuff and save people’s lives.”

 

Army Cadet Sergeant Jodie Judge, aged 17, added: “It’s good that we girls have the opportunity to join the marines – it’s great for inclusivity”.

 

RMR City of London Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jason Durup said that one of the goals of the event was to support the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Divert’ Programme “trying to give young people the confidence through different skills that they can evade and avoid edge weapon threats and not become a statistic”.

 

Southfields Academy deputy head Larry Davis, the school’s champion for Personal Development, Safety and Welfare, added: “It’s really important to give young people the opportunity to get together and work with youngsters from other schools…

“There’s a lot of discussion that they don’t get these opportunities with the schools’ focus on academic stuff.”