Hebridean pupils to get fit for life

Mike Beaton will show students the ration packs the Royal Marines survive on.
Mike Beaton will show students the ration packs the Royal Marines survive on.

Students from around schools in the Western Isles will get a small taste of cuisine from the frontline in Afghanistan, when the Royal Marines presentation team roll in this week.

Led by Commando chef Colour Sergeant Mike Beaton, pupils at the Nicholson Institute among others, will be able to sample the ration packs being used by the Royal Navy’s elite fighting force on frontline operations around the world.

The team will also visit schools in Harris, Benbecula and Barra during their whistle-stop tour of the Western Isles.

Students will also learn more about healthy eating, the detrimental effects of alcohol excess, as well as watching Mike, a fully qualified field chef, whipping up a delicious and healthy meal right in front of them all.

Mike will be joined by a team of Royal Navy Physical Training Instructors who give the students a PE lesson, military style. They will put the young people through their paces in a series of workouts designed to give them some idea of the fitness levels required for life in the modern Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Super fit Mike, who is from Dunfermline but travels around the UK with his job, said: “The aim of these visits is to inform students of the importance and benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and who better to do this than Royal Marines who need to adopt this approach if they are to succeed in their careers.

“Many of my colleagues are on the ground in Afghanistan and the young people will be able to get some experience of what mealtimes are typically like for them.” He added: “Joining the Royal Marines or Royal Navy as a chef not only offers some of the best training in catering, it’s also a wonderful way to see the rest of the world. This way I get to combine my two greatest passions - travel and food.”