Yesterday saw the completion of Challenge South London; a community youth training initiative hosted by RMR City of London, supported by Southfields Academy and a number of military and uniformed services as well as sports and fitness industry partners.
Challenge South London is comprised of six challenges delivered by the Royal Marines, Harlequins RFC, BeMilitaryFit and Powerleague in cooperation with the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade, providing young people struggling to reach their full potential an opportunity to be inspired through sports, martial arts, outdoor pursuits and physical fitness training.
One of the focuses of the event was to inchoate respect for uniformed services by showcasing the support the Armed Forces and Public Services provide to them and their communities. Challenges covered topics such as: nutrition, self-defence, endurance, mental strength and self-esteem, embodying the characteristics of the Royal Marines: Courage, Determination, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness.
Particular highlights came from inspirational speaker Lee Spencer, The Rowing Marine, about ‘How failure can help you to success’. In January 2019 Lee Spencer, a single leg amputee, became the first physically disabled person to have rowed solo across the Atlantic, beating the previous able-bodied record by over a month and gained two new World Records.
Another key focus of the event was to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and towards a more positive Future. With knife crime amongst youths in the London area being an ongoing topic of high interest, Challenge South London aimed to encourage young people on the periphery of youth violence not to carry edge weapons.
Commanding Officer of Royal Marines Reserves City of London Lieutenant Colonel Jason Durup said: “Challenge South London aims to support the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Divert’ Programme…[by] trying to giving young people the confidence through different skills that they can evade and avoid edge weapon threats and not become a statistic”.
Deputy Headteacher of Southfields Academy Larry Davis, the schools champion for Personal Development, Safety and Welfare said; “it’s really important to give the opportunity for young people to get together and work together with youngsters from other schools…there’s a lot of discussion [between young people] about that they don’t get these opportunities with focus [from the schools] on academic stuff”.
Go to https://www.challengesouthlondon.co.uk/ to find out more.