Scaling new heights

  • Author: admin
  • Date: Friday 15th April 2011
Scaling new heights Scaling new heights Scaling new heights

The Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA) at Britannia Royal Naval College has been getting to grips with its newest piece of equipment – a high ropes course – on a week-long intensive training regime.

The course has been delivered by Steve Woods from VERTEX, based in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. “The aim of the training is to ensure the team who will be utilising the equipment understands both the legislation surrounding its use and best practice to optimise the training potential of such a facility,” he explained. “Everything is in accordance with the European Ropes Course Association and leads to an instructional qualification which lasts for three years.”

“We have been looking at the management of this facility both from a safety and effective use perspective,” said Lieutenant Commander Harry Harrington from the RNLA at BRNC. “It will be a very powerful tool for us to use particularly in the through career leadership and management courses delivered in the College.”

As the staff progressed through the week they had to address their own emotions, fears and attitude to risk as they learned all about the learning objectives and personal development potential of the equipment.

Alongside the RN personnel being trained were two members of staff from Dartmouth Academy. Mr Phillip Hall, head of Beagle House, and Miss Lisa Hunt a Learning Support Assistant at the school who were given the opportunity to attend the training course as part of the partnering arrangements between the academy and BRNC. “This has been a marvellous chance for Lisa and me to enhance our skill set to enable and develop our student’s potential and experience,” Phillip commented.

Lisa, who is a former pupil of Dartmouth Community College, remarked “I can hardly believe I am here and what I am achieving. It is naturally very challenging in a physical sense but I am also seeing just how your mental attitude affects what you achieve. I have loved working with the staff here as the RN immediately makes you feel part of the team.”

Commodore Simon Williams, Commodore Britannia Royal Naval College, oversees the work of the whole Royal Naval Leadership Academy and therefore paid a visit on day two of the training course. Needless to say he was invited to climb the 13 metre high stanchion!

Having scaled the post Commodore Williams, standing on a very small platform, was then joined by three others being trained.

Once back on the terra firma he admitted to being quite exhilarated by the whole exercise. “The high ropes course delivers on so many levels of leadership and personal development,” he stated. “You are quickly pushed to your limits and swiftly have to rely on those people around you. As a team you are collectively brought on by such an experience.”

One of the four who climbed the mast to join the Commodore was Lieutenant Maxine Ashby who is not due to start on the staff at BRNC until early May. “I am so pleased to have been able to complete this training course,” she said. “It is absolutely outstanding and I am so looking forward to being part of the team who delivers this facet of work to the Junior Officer’s Leadership Courses next term.”


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