James Le Poidevin, UTC alumnus, poses in his Royal Navy uniform.

A Royal Navy recruit from Newton Aycliffe is on his way to Barbados to compete with the Royal Navy Boxing team.

Trainee sailor James Le Poidevin joined the Royal Navy 10 weeks ago and has just completed his induction at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall. Two days after his passing-out-parade, attended by his family, James reported for duty with the boxing team. 

The 21-year-old started boxing at the age of 10 and has an impressive number of titles under his belt.  He has taken part in a number of National championships and represented England. Such is his talent he was invited to train with the Royal Navy Boxing team last year before starting his initial training.

He said: “It’s really exciting to have been chosen to go to Barbados. It was a bit hard to process at first because I was buzzing for my passing-out-parade.”

The former student of the University Technical College South Durham joined the Royal Navy on an accelerated apprentice scheme and is destined for a career beneath the waves on board submarines. The fast-track promotion scheme will give James a level 3 apprenticeship in engineering. He will also have the opportunity to complete a foundation degree in mechanical or electronic engineering.

James said: “I’ve made some good mates at Raleigh and I’ll take with me some great memories of my time here. I joined the Royal Navy to meet new people, experience different cultures and also to continue boxing. I aspire to be the Royal Navy boxing coach one day.”

Royal Navy initial training is designed to teach new recruits the basic skills they will rely upon throughout their naval careers. It is underpinned by nine Core Maritime Skills that are the foundations of naval life and underpin operational effectiveness. Recruits are taught Naval discipline and customs. They learn about navigation and are given the chance to take the helm of their own medium sized inflatable boat during a waterborne orienteering exercise. Royal Navy personnel can also be called upon to play a vital role in land-based operations, so recruits undergo training in basic combat skills which includes survival in the field.

Fitness is a key component of the training and is delivered using a disciplined method of military fitness which focuses on developing co-ordination and individual physical strength and endurance. As the course progresses the recruits take part in three extended exercises to test their skills and understanding of the principles they have been taught.