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Commodore Paul Chivers OBE & Royal Navy Club Swingers
Petty Officer Jane West & Commodore Paul Chivers OBE cutting the ribbon
Petty Officer Jane West & Commodore Paul Chivers OBE

New Gym at Yeovilton

Published: 30 Apr 2012

The lunch time trip to the gym at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton has taken on a whole new meaning after Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Jane West decided a refurbishing the fitness centre was well overdue.

Jane was fed up with working out in the old suite so took it upon herself to do something about it. After several months of hard slog and some extra PTI effort the Commanding Officer of RNAS Yeovilton Commodore Paul Chivers OBE officially opened and renamed the new facility the “Falklands Gym” to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Falkland’s War.

With a limited budget but a locker room full of willing helpers, Jane set about getting the work done, a lot of which was self help. Working at night and over weekends the walls were painted in the traditional Fleet Air Arm Green. “We increased the running machines from eight to sixteen and brought in some top quality machines and power plates for strength and conditioning work. The equipment really is 21 century.”

The old gym also imposed difficulties for users on recovery programmes with lower leg injuries, being on the first floor. Users would often have to wait for machines to become vacant and this turned people away. The new spacious and well ventilated fitness suite is located on the ground floor of the Gym complex and has many mod cons; including docking stations for MP3 players and it is hoped mirrors in the near future.

“The ventilation and floor space in the old suite was pretty poor. The Gym experience was not a crowd pleaser”, said LPTI Joe Thornton a staff instructor at Yeovilton. “In the evenings when people were secured from work, the old fitness suite was cramped and stuffy now its full most of the time”

The Falklands Gym is set for a busy future when Wildcat replaces the current Maritime Navy Lynx and personnel at the Naval Air Station increases over the next two years.

After opening the cutting the ribbon and unveiling a plaque to commentate the Falklands Gym, Commodore Chivers took the chance to crack some weights and try out some of the new equipment, trying out his strength on some of the apparatus, looked on by the cheering Navy Club swingers.

“It’s gone down well with everyone”, said LPTI Aaron “Taff” Davies, “I think it’s brilliant, best Gym in the Fleet.”

Fitness is an important part of Naval service and people are expected to perform it at a higher standard.

So much so, that people are enjoying it more with a greater variety and diversity of new equipment. Certainly a Gym for everyone.

Jane has her planning head on again and phase 2 of her vision for the Gym complex at Yeovilton will see a new boxing gym and updating the Spinning suite.


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