A SUPER-FIT 61-year-old Royal Navy veteran is today set to take part in a challenge that will see him and his teammates pulling a 816kg gun for charity.
Lieutenant Commander Grassy Meadows, from Barton under Needwood, is set to take part in one of the most competitive challenges in the Royal Navy – with half his team made up of people over 50.
Every year the strongest and fastest men and women prepare for the annual Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity field gun competition.
It takes several months to get into prime physical condition for the event, which will see an 18-man team charging over the start line heaving a 816kg gun and its carriage down a road at top running speed.
Lt Cdr Meadows, a member of the Maritime Reserves at HMS Forward in Birmingham, has not competed since 1977, but has put in months of training and is expecting to put on a good show at today’s competition, which is being held at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire.
He said: “I’m not really surprised that we have such a mature team as we are all extremely experienced and have the capacity to shine in tomorrow’s competition.
“I haven’t run in a competition since 1977, but I have been a trainer.
“I’m a fiery number, passed the selection process and am really proud to be representing the Royal Navy reserves.
“This is a testament to the Royal Navy reserves, which has always encouraged me to stay fit for both active service and competitive sport.
“I think this is going to be the biggest comeback since Frank Sinatra.”
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity field gun competition is a part of the HMS Collingwood open day.
The competition features 22 teams from across the UK and Gibraltar racing for the coveted Brickwoods Trophy.
The teams have to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire the gun in the shortest possible time.
Lt Cdr Meadow’s team will be made up of eight members who are over the age of 50 – a first for the annual event.
He claims ‘what we may lack the physicality of our younger competitors we make up for with years of experience’.
More information can be found at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/Collingwood-Openday