On 23rd May a team will take part in the Since 1664 Yomp – a 100 mile yomp across the South Downs to raise funds for Go Commando.   The event is the brainchild of former Royal Marine Robin Hollington who tragically lost his own son, Richard who was killed on duty with 40 Commando Royal Marines in Afghanistan.  A team of five students aged between 18-19 years old will carry out the non-stop challenge accompanied by their tutor, former Royal Marine Matt Weekes. They will be joined by one other member of staff and a very special extra team member.  Steven Houckham is a former Royal Marine who was best friends with Richard Hollington and with him when he heartbreakingly lost his life. Doing this event in memory of his oppo gives him a chance to do something to support The Royal Marines family.  So what an amazing story…. Please dig deep and support our team….



Meet the team:
Lizzie Harrison (Student) 
I am currently enrolled on a Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science Diploma, and on leaving Yeovil College I would like to go to University and study Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy. I am taking part in the “Since 1664” Yomp Challenge because it is a great opportunity to be a part of such a demanding event, and I would like to show my support to Royal Marine Commandos and their families. However, I am worried about the shortage of sleep we will get throughout the challenge; but I am excited about participation as I’ve never attempted anything like this before and would like to achieve it as a team. 

Tia Shoemark (Student) I am enrolled on a Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science Diploma course at Yeovil College. Once I have successfully completed the course my aspiration is to join the Royal Navy and train as a member of aircrew, with a long-term plan of becoming a PTI officer. I am attempting the “Since 1664” Yomp challenge because it will be an enormous test on my personal fitness and determination, and the completion of such a test will enhance the chance of joining the Royal Navy. Nevertheless, I am worried about walking the whole distance in the time given without giving up; yet, I am most excited about being able to achieve this and motivate my other team mates.

Nick Murray (Student)
I am currently undertaking a 3rd year course at Yeovil College in NVQ level 2 Instructing Exercise and Fitness, and the Certificate in Activity Leadership. In the past I have considered applying for the Royal Marines, but would now like a career in coaching young athletes in order to fulfil their sporting potential. 

I have chosen to participate in the “Since 1664” Yomp challenge as I believe I have a good work ethic and great enthusiasm to commit and achieve the goals I set myself; and therefore feel I will be a valuable member of the Go “Yeovil” Commando team. I am looking forward to experiencing a Royal Marine Yomp, and the self-satisfaction of finishing a tough challenge, but the thought of walking up one hill, to come down the other side, only to walk up the next one for 164.4km, is daunting. Nevertheless, I know every pound we raise will go towards an exceptional charity.

Jack Ward (Student)
I have been studying at Yeovil College for the past 3 years, and am about to finish the Uniform Public Service Level 3 Diploma course. On accomplishing the course I wish to join the British Army, in particular the Parachute Regiment; I know, God is airborne because he failed the Commando course!

I have the upmost respect for the professionalism and expertise the Royal Marines show when called upon, and this is why I am 100% committed to completing the “Since 1664” Yomp challenge. I am anxious about the pace set by my lecturers (Steve Berryman & Matt Weekes), but know they will encourage myself and my peers throughout every mile during the Yomp. I believe Go Commando do a fantastic job in supporting the Royal Marines and their families, and would like to help to fund such an admirable charity by walking a “few” miles!

Steve Berryman (Tutor) I am the Course Manager and lecturer for the Uniform Public Service Level 3 Diploma course. I have volunteered to attempt the “Since 1664” Yomp challenge as I have worked alongside the Royal Marines whilst in in the Army, and I know just how professional they are.

My wife and I were a forces family for many years, with two young children and I would very much like to contribute to such a worthy charity. I know the challenge will be both physically and mentally demanding, especially at 3am in the morning, but the thought of raising much needed cash for such a worthwhile charity and the impact this will have, will keep me going. I’m looking forward to pushing myself throughout the challenge, and helping the rest of the team pull together in order to complete the yomp.

Matt Weekes (Tutor) I am currently the Course Manager for the Uniform Public Service Level 3 Extended Diploma course at Yeovil College, and lecturer across a wide range of courses offered at Yeovil College.  As a former Royal Marine, I have experienced the impact Go Commando has upon serving and retired Royal Marines, and their families, and have agreed to attempt the “Since 1664” Yomp challenge as I believe the work Go Commando perform, with regards to the support and assistance to such families is priceless. As a result of playing sport, parachuting, and of course yomping within my time as a Royal Marine, and therefore I do have concerns regarding how much my body can take. However, as the Royal Marines say “It’s a state of mind”.

 I am looking forward to pushing myself to new limits and crossing the finish line late on the 24th May with my coveted Green beret on my head, and hopefully a massive cheque to present to Go Commando from Yeovil College…..Hoofing! 


Public Services and Sports Diploma Students from Yeovil College in Somerset are taking on a challenge in true Royal Marine style!  The team put together by their tutor Matt Weekes (former RM) will be yomping 100 miles along the South Downs Way to raise funds for Go Commando. See their story on our News Page and please support their hoofing efforts.



Colonel Kev

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