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Leicester sailor is Navyfit

14 March 2016
Petty Officer Emma Grant, 36, has recently become an ambassador for fitness and healthy living within the Royal Navy.

 After having her inspiring story recognised, Emma has become a key player within the ‘NAVYfit’ team, a campaign promoting fitness and healthy living within the service.

The team have recently linked up with the hugely successful Sport England initiative ‘This Girl Can’, specifically encouraging more females to get involved in physical activity across the Naval Service, regardless of their shape, size, rank and ability.

Currently employed as a Weapon Engineer Instructor at HMS Collingwood, Emma joined the Royal Navy in 1997. 

Power-lifting and other weight exercises are no longer male dominated, with females seeing the benefits

Petty Officer Emma Grant

So far, her career has seen deployments on various ships including HMS Ocean and HMS Dumbarton, travelling to places such as the Caribbean and Falkland islands.

She cites gaining her degree in engineering among her career highlights, as well as being involved in giving humanitarian aid whilst on deployment.

Being an active person, Emma has always enjoyed sport, taking part in the Great South Run every year. 9 years ago she was involved in an accident, leaving her injured with Acute Compartment Syndrome in her leg, resulting in permanent muscle and nerve damage.

Emma’s active lifestyle came to a halt, having to learn to walk and run again, leaving her unable to participate in sport.

The impact this had on her way of life became a struggle, finding it traumatic and causing her to experience high anxiety which led to weight again and trouble sleeping.

Throughout Emma’s rehab, she had to build up her muscles to support her skeleton through non-impact and static body weight exercises.

This introduction to weights eventually led to an interest in power-lifting, becoming an outlet to vent her frustrations. Determined to get her life back, gaining a new feeling of empowerment and challenge, she began to gain her confidence.

She now competes for the Royal Navy and enjoys acting as a mentor for other females, demonstrating that females should embrace strength.

Emma is now pushing herself by exploring other sports, even becoming a qualified paddle board instructor after discovering her love for the sport at a paddle board session at HMS Excellent.

She is firm believer that physical activity can help to combat the effects of feeling depressed and frustrated.

Originally from Leicester, Emma now lives in Fareham with her daughter Isabel, who she enjoys exploring outdoor activities with in her spare time.

An ex pupil of Sir Jonathan North Girls School, Emma said of the campaign “When I’m in the gym; I’m not a mum, an injured person or a service person.

“It’s me, my music and the barbell. I was fortunate to have a good support network whilst I was recovering from my accident; it’s great to be able to offer that to someone else, whatever they are going through.

“Worries are taken away for the time that you are engaged in physical activity; this is why I believe it is a great way to combat stress and personal battles, rather than choosing to shut yourself away.

“In the Royal Navy it is really important to keep fit, from junior rates to senior rates, allowing us to be reactive to any situation.

“Since I have got involved with the campaign I have experienced a lot more interaction with females asking for advice and techniques in the gym.

“Power-lifting and other weight exercises are no longer male dominated, with females seeing the benefits and no longer believing the myths.

“My current challenge is to build the power-lifting squad within the Royal Navy, but I’m also happy if I can encourage anyone to get move more!”  

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