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Bahrain base hosts inaugural international fitness fest

Bahrain base hosts inaugural international fitness fest
11 December 2023
The head of the UK’s Armed Forces saw 200 personnel from four navies channel their energy into a weekend of international sport in Bahrain.

Hosted by the Royal Navy’s regional headquarters, the UK Maritime Component Command, the first International NavyFit Festival challenged sailors from the Royal, US, Canadian and Kuwaiti navies to participate in a variety of sports including rugby, cycling, golf, football and climbing.

The contest sought to promote positive health and wellbeing, introduce service personnel to new activities and pave the way into grass roots sports. At the same time there was the opportunity for a bit of international bonding.

Professional coaches from the RN’s Grass Roots Sports Team, based in the UK, came out to organise proceedings, showcasing recognised sporting activities in the Senior Service whilst supporting individual self-development and teamwork.

The festival opened with a welcome from Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, who was visiting the Kingdom of Bahrain for an update on the latest UK activities in the region.

Bahrain serves as the hub for the Royal Navy east of Suez, supported by the RAF and Army, using the Naval Support Facility at Mina Salman port as their base.
On completion of the main sporting activities and following an It’s a Knockout session in the pool, participants were treated to a barbecue, quiz night and carnival evening.

“My vision of organising a NavyFit Festival in Bahrain was to host the first ever overseas festival involving allied nations participating in a variety of individual and team sports, building on international relationships in an operational theatre,” said Petty Officer Gareth Reid, UKMCC and Naval Support Facility Physical Training Instructor, who organised the event.

“The whole event was a great success with nearly 200 personnel attending and taking part.”

Chief Petty Officer Theo Cain, who manages the ‘soft facilities’ at the NSF, added: “I found this to be a fantastic way to explore new sporting activities and I gained a great sense of accomplishment throughout the day.

“The support from the PT staff and spectators was outstanding and we were incredibly grateful to the Gosling Foundation for supporting the event.”

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