Norwich people see if they have what it takes to join the Army

While many people might be having a lie-in at 9am on a windy September day, 40 people aged between 15 and 32 gathered at a Norwich park to see if they had what it takes to join the Army.

As part of the training exercise they had to carry 40kg for 150m, do as many press-ups and sit-ups in two minutes and complete a mile-and-a-half run. Men had to run in less than 12 minutes and women had to run in less than 14 minutes.

Katie Kemp, 15, from Copper Road, Hingham, aims to join the Army next year as a combat medic.

The youngster, who is in her final year at Attleborough High School, said: 'I'm feeling tired. It was what I thought it would be. I did a lot of research. I managed to do 45 press-ups and 39 sit-ups. The run was the hardest part because it's the last part. The cans were hard. They are a lot heavier than they look. I'm going to work on everything and I want to improve my running.

Her dad, Richard Kemp, said: 'We bought Katie a gym membership so she could do some additional training. I have been biking behind her for the mile-and- a-half run in training. She wants to complete her GCSEs and join the Army next year.

'She has been researching the Army for the last three years. She looked at a variety of roles and then decided that she had a very strong interest in science at school.'

Those who were keen to join the Army travelled from as far as Hunstanton and King's Lynn to Sloughbottom Park in Norwich.

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Major Grant Pocock, pictured above, area recruiting officer for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: 'We hold it every month and it's voluntary for those who are looking to join the forces. It gives the candidates a chance to see what their fitness level is. The average age for the fitness days is between 16 and 26. It shows motivation and commitment.'

If they pass the fitness test, the new recruits are given a medical form and, providing they pass, will be sent on a two-day selection weekend in Surrey.

'We have been doing this for six months. We were sending people to selection and they were being turned away because of their fitness. Before this, we didn't hold any training for them. It's tough but it has got to be.'

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