Commando Spirit (the award-winning organisation raising funds to support Commandos and their families when they need it most) is set to rebuild the world’s first Commando assault and endurance courses as part of the first-ever Commando Games during 2016 – Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
Taking place around the iconic setting of Achnacarry and Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands (known from its days as the birth place and training ground of the elite Commandos during World War II as “Commando Country”) the Commando Games will give civilians a chance to experience first-hand the arduous training of the original Commandos. Participants will be supported all the way by serving and former Commandos,
Authentically replicating the original innovative training, individuals and teams can take on Commando Spirit’s legendary 30-mile trek Survive The Yomp; the 9-mile speed march Commando March; the Commando Endurance Course (new for 2016) which will include natural obstacles, mud runs, tunnels and crawls; or the Commando Assault Course (also new for 2016) which will feature rope bridges, obstacles and the infamous death slide.
With a preview of the Assault Course and Endurance Course on 18 June, the World’s first Commando Games takes place in Achnacarry over 10 and 11 September. Participants can take on any or all four of these challenges, while spectators can enjoy Commando inspired entertainment. Ideal for families, other activities over the weekend include survival skills, camping on site, camouflage face painting, talks and demos.
The Commando Spirit challenges and Commando Games are part of a year-long programme of events through which participants can test their mettle on training exercises normally only experienced by members of the services (including Royal Marines, solders and airmen) training to be Commandos. Other challenges include Take The Leap, an eye-watering Commando-style abseil from Glasgow’s Titan Crane on 5 June; and Escape The Dunker, where participants escape from a mock helicopter fuselage in a simulated crash.
Launching the new events and encouraging participants to sign up for the challenges Sally-Anne Hunter, Commando Spirit Series Founder and Director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to launch our Commando Games and add two awesome new challenge events for 2016. Aptly for Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, our Commando Endurance and Assault Courses are being constructed to accurately replicate the unique historic architectural design and innovative content of the original training courses that service men completed during World War II to become Commandos and earn the right to wear the coveted green beret. This is an exciting opportunity for individuals to be the first to complete these authentic courses since they were last undertaken in the 1940s.
“Commando Spirit is all about showing you have the courage, grit and determination to put yourself through true to life Commando training whilst raising vital funds in the process. We passionately believe people have more in them than they appreciate and we encourage people and teams to step up to take part in the unique and iconic Commando Games and encourage as many people as possible to come and watch and have fun experiencing the spectator programme!”
One of the previous participants of Survive The Yomp and winner of the Fastest Team Trophy, Ewan Smith from Renfrew, said: “Being involved and taking part in this event was emotional and one of the greatest things I have ever done. Its overwhelming to see so many people put their heart and soul into something so physically and mentally challenging then come out the other end with such feelings of achievement and a great big smile knowing that their efforts will make a difference to the lives of those who have given their all.”
Cameron of Lochiel, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Commando Spirit is bringing their inspiring new Commando Games to Achnacarry Estate in 2016. Since 2013, this highly professional team has organised the iconic 30 mile Survive The Yomp at Achnacarry Estate, supporting the growth of our local economy and raising awareness of the uniquely rich Commando heritage of the area. I look forward to seeing them build on this success and to welcoming the many brave participants as they prove their mettle at these tough but rewarding Commando Games.”
For a short time only Commando Spirit is offering early bird rates for those who sign up to the challenges by the end of February. While those who sign up as a team by the end of July, will be given four places for the price of three across all events.