STUDENTS hit the heights and rode the waves during a taster session giving them a glimpse of life in the Royal Marines.
More than 450 teenagers from colleges around Rotherham and the Dearne Valley took part in the Meet The Marines event over three days this week.
They got the chance to put their climbing skills to the test on a soaring climbing wall, enjoyed a speedboat ride around Manvers Lake and even got to grips with some real-life weapons.
As well as being able to talk to marines and find out about their work, the teenagers were put through their paces in a series of realistic drills and physical challenges.
Colleges and schools involved on Tuesday included Mexborough Academy, Swinton Community School and Rotherham College, while yesterday was the turn of Aston Academy and Dearne Valley College. Warrant officer Terence Miller, who was among those co-ordinating the activities, said the three-day event was rewarding for the marine commandos as well as the young people.
“There are about 30 marines involved in putting on six different activities for the young people to have a go at, before there is a presentation at the end of the day,” he said.
“It’s as realistic as possible to let them see how life in the marines might be if they are considering it as a possible career.
“More importantly, it educates people as to who the marines are and what they do and if we do get any interest in careers as a knock-on effect, that’s positive, too.”
The marines are largely based in Cornwall and Scotland and Mr Miller said they relished the chance to travel the country and put on one of the dozen activity weeks held every year.
“This is a little down time for them away from the frontline and, for many, the activities could be taking place in their home towns, which allows them to see their families,” he said.