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HMS Queen Elizabeth opens ping-pong club

20 February 2018
So extensive is the space aboard new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (3,300 compartments…) and smooth is the ride most of the time in the 65,000-tonne leviathan that she provides a stable enough platform to play ping pong in the bowels of the ship.

The Portsmouth-based warship, currently undergoing helicopter trials in the western Mediterranean, is equipped with two main gyms with facilities at least on a par with many land-based sports centres.

There are spinning and cardio-vascular suites, weights, a boxing ring, not to mention the table tennis, er, tables (which have their own compartments), while the hangar and flight deck can be used for circuits and running (when the latter isn't being used by aircraft…).

A three-strong team of physical training instructors - one chief, two leading hands - keep the 700 sailors on their toes, although the simply walking around the carrier on a daily basis means most ship's company are getting in 20,000 steps (the recommended is at least 10,000).

I love it on board. If the Navy is this good, I don't want to leave.

LPT Elise Broughton

And 28-year-old LPT Elise Broughton from Hull doesn't have a hard time in motivating her shipmates.

She served aboard the ship as a warfare specialist before returning as a fully-qualified physical trainer - nicknamed clubz in the Navy.

"Coming back on board has actually been better than I expected. The crew want to be here, they want to use the sporting facilities. They get up early to train and are mega keen to get involved in sport," said Elise.

"I love it on board. If the Navy is this good, I don't want to leave."

Before you ask, no, there's no swimming pool aboard… but the crew haven't ruled out installing a pool table…

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