Network Rail’s apprentices took part in the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition, held at HMS Collingwood in Gosport, Hampshire earlier this month.
In the ultimate battle of strength, endurance, speed, accuracy and team work, Network Rail apprentices forced the armed services to surrender.
Fending off the strength of all three military services, our apprentices claimed victory for the third year running.
The competition is open to those aged 16-25, with each crew of 18 required to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire the antique 12-pounder field gun – equivalent in weight to a small car – in the shortest possible time.
The winning Network Rail team beat 16 other teams from the three military services and other organisations, with another Network Rail team finishing second just 0.25 seconds behind the winners.
Steve Featherstone, director of maintenance for Network Rail paid tribute to the hard work of those involved:
“The teamwork, dedication and raw energy our teams displayed with every pace makes me extremely proud. Whilst competition is fierce, for us it is also about being able to participate as a team and to rise to the challenge that the event presents.
“There is also a real link with the teamwork and repetitive maintenance tasks that are necessary for our maintenance teams to excel.
“Everyone knows their roles as part of the team and to assemble a one tonne gun and gun carriage, travel 200 metres stopping twice to fire three shells each time, all in around one minute 22 seconds just shows what can be done with training and practice.”