Pupils fall in for a slice of army life

Fleetwood High School pupils Connor Carey, Dani Coyle and Kayleigh Ethell on manouvres during an army training course.
Fleetwood High School pupils Connor Carey, Dani Coyle and Kayleigh Ethell on manouvres during an army training course.

Nineteen Fleetwood High School pupils who have ambitions to join the army completed an intensive five-day taster course last week.

The recruits, aged 14 and 15, visited Altcar Training Camp in Hightown, Liverpool for the “Look At Army Life” course.

While they were there, the students completed infantry training, lectures about army life and a number of physical activities such as assault courses, lengthy runs and paintballing.

Fleetwood High School’s family support worker, Paul O’Connor, led the trip and said it proved an eye-opening experience for the young people.

He said: “It’s not a course for the faint hearted, but our young people rose to the challenges that the army gave them.

“They did find it very difficult at times, but I’m proud to say that they completed all the tasks and weren’t defeated by any.

“They all did extremely well.”

Mr O’Connor said some students on the trip had very serious intentions of joining the armed forces - and they still felt the same way after completing the course.

Among these was Year Ten student Jamie Bloxam, who wants to be an officer in the Intelligence Corps.

During this experience he was given some very sound advice on how he might achieve his ambitious goal, and has been left very encouraged by the visit.

Another student on the trip, Chelsea Croisdale, said she found the assault course the most rewarding part of the experience,

She revealed: “I’m absolutely scared of heights, but I got over the course by learning to work with others.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it and I felt really proud of myself afterwards for getting through the course.”

She also said: “From going on the trip and experiencing army life, I’ve decided that I want to join up now as a gunner.

“It didn’t put me off at all.”

It was the second time the school had organised a trip to the centre and other visits will be considered in the future.