Let's get physical!
Normally encouraging shipmates to shed pounds, Chief Petty Officer (Physical Training) Keith ‘Mac’ McCormick accumulated them - £400 to be precise - as his unstinting efforts to get sailors and marines at HMS Excellent fit were rewarded.
The establishment’s Commanding Officer Commander Martin Evans determined Mac, from Clanfield, was worthy of a Herbert Lott award, which acknowledges efforts made by military or civilian personnel to make the Senior Service more efficient – and hence more effective.
During his two years as the ranking physical training instructor on Whale Island, Mac has promoted healthy living, introduced nutritional advice and encouraged and offered more opportunities for military and civilian personnel working at Excellent.
Mac’s efforts secured funding from the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity to increase capacity by building a mezzanine floor – which has helped to raise usage by more than a half.
With the assistance of his small team, the chief PTI has brought in a range of generic and bespoke fitness programmes, including kratos (fitness/acrobatics) and the 100 and 500-mile clubs, been heavily engaged in the RN-wide Navyfit initiative which has been running since January, and ensured that more than 9 out of every 10 sailors and Royal Marines posted to HMS Excellent are ‘in date’ for their fitness tests.
But the initiatives don’t stop there: Mac has also introduced simple exercises and routines for the office environment and provided advice on how to improve posture and alleviate back pain.
He sends out weekly health, fitness and nutritional tips in a simple, easy-to-read email, and twice a week hosts a planned ‘drop-in’ crèche to broaden gym access for MOD staff with young children.
“It has been a pleasure working on Whale Island,” said Mac. “I have loved working with my small team to deliver personal development, advising on realistic and sustainable changes to people’s lives - they’ve been receptive - and looking at physical training in a different way.”