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Academy tests Commando ethos in amphibious exercise

Academy tests Commando ethos in amphibious exercise
6 April 2017
Scottish Rugby’s BT Sports Academy players and staff have carried out the inaugural “Peck Hunter” programme as part of the on-going partnership between the Royal Marines and Scottish Rugby.

Named after Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter VC – a Scotsman who won his posthumous Victoria Cross 62 years ago whilst serving in 43 Commando at the Battle of Lake Comacchio (April 1945) – the exercise aims to develop the players’ Commando Mindset, focussing on personal responsibility and leadership.

The strenuous, amphibious two-day exercise began with an intense military swimming fitness circuit before moving on to close quarter battle training, with an operational planning exercise in the evening and overnight at Garelochhead Camp near 43 Commando’s home at HM Naval Base Clyde.

The second day saw the group challenged further in a physically and mentally-demanding amphibious exercise on Loch Lomond, under instruction by the Royal Marines from 43 Commando.

I hope the players have enjoyed working with the Royal Marines and deepened their understanding of Commando ethos and have discovered something about themselves in the process

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Kemp RM, Second-in-Command of 43 Commando

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Kemp RM, Second-in-Command of 43 Commando, who has been the director of the programme, said:  “We are building on the training delivered by 45 Commando in Arbroath in December last year and working the players hard mentally and physically.

“The aim is to develop the personal responsibility that is so important for those engaged in high-level sport in much the same way as it is for Royal Marines on operations.

“I hope the players have enjoyed working with the Royal Marines and deepened their understanding of Commando ethos and have discovered something about themselves in the process.”

Jason Baggott (Melrose Rugby) was selected as the best performing player over the two-day programme and was presented with a trophy by Lieutenant Colonel Kemp.  

Jason said:  “The training has been a good experience and we have been exposed to activities and events that we would not normally do and we are then able to transfer those experiences to the Rugby field.”

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