Staff Sgt Alex Rees (left) and Staff Sgt Charlotte Spence (Steve Parsons/PA)
Staff Sgt Alex Rees (left) and Staff Sgt Charlotte Spence (Steve Parsons/PA)
PA Wire

The Army’s fittest soldiers have been crowned after fighting off competition from hundreds of colleagues in a year-long contest.

A total of 670 male and female soldiers entered the British Army Warrior Fitness (BAWF) competition which was launched during the pandemic.

The entrants initially sent in videos of them completing exercise tasks and the top 10 of both genders were invited to take part in the finals at Sir John Moore Barracks in WinchesterHampshire on Wednesday.

Soldiers compete in the weightlifting task (Steve Parsons/PA)

The tests included a 300-metre swim and one-mile run followed by weightlifting, a barbell cycle and burpee workout and a version of the annual fitness test.

The winners were Staff Sergeant Alex Rees, 34, and Staff Sergeant Charlotte Spence, 34, who both work at the Army School of Physical Training at Aldershot.

Sgt Rees told the PA news agency: “The competition was fierce, different people brought different attributes to each of the events.

“I think the level speaks volumes about the fitness of the British Army. We are doing things that are potentially beyond the normal capability for deployment for a unit but it gives people something to aim for.”

Soldiers compete at Sir John Moore Barracks in Winchester (Steve Parsons/PA)

Sgt Spence said: “It was hard and a really intense day but I have enjoyed every workout.

“We have a lot of very fit individuals in the Army and it’s great we are embracing this type of sporting activity with so many people involved.”

Warrant Officer Chris Armstrong, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, said: “Because of Covid we were unable to partake in fitness competitions because of social distancing and isolation etc, so what we decided to do was an online competition.

“With restrictions relaxing we wanted to culminate with crowning the fittest male and female in the British Army.

The British Army Warrior Fitness competition was launched during the pandemic (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Elite-level athletes are role models; we have athletes from all over the British Army so if people see someone from their unit competing they aspire to be them, which makes them want to be fitter, which makes my job as a physical training instructor easier.

“Being part of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, it’s my number one priority to have the fittest soldiers we possibly can. We are in contingency now, we don’t understand what the battlefield will look like, so we need to be as fit as we possibly can.

“It is the top 10 fittest males and females in the British Army that are here, so the standard is phenomenal and really good to watch and they are going to be role models when they go back to their units.”

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