SIXTY students from University Academy Keighley have been given a taste of army life.

They took part in the second of a series of special youth ‘supercamps’ at Catterick Garrison.

During the three-day event, they tackled everything from cooking and making a shelter in the field to using camouflage.

The youngsters were joined by top kickboxer Ruqsana Begum, the current British and World Kickboxing Association Muay Thai champion.

She led a warm-up session before accompanying the pupils on a military assault course, and later spoke to the group about the challenges she had faced and overcome during her life.

“I really had a lot of fun doing the assault course and it was a great atmosphere,” she said.

“An assault course is not part of my usual training, but I am able to adapt to any situation.

“You just have to be mentally strong to get through tough circumstances and this was fun and challenging.

“It was great to see so many people from different backgrounds participating. I felt part of the team – and it is about teamwork.

“When I spoke to the students about my journey, I let it speak for itself.

“I have overcome obstacles and I told them no hurdle is too high to jump over.”

The camps, run by the 4th Infantry Brigade, have now catered for more than 500 students this year.

Organiser, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, said: “The feedback has been very positive from both students and staff, not only in terms of skill development but also for giving them the opportunity to do something they would not normally have the chance to do.

“When the students return home they have a better understanding of what the army does.

“The army has many roles. A lot of people are surprised to hear that we have dealt with hurricanes, Ebola and floods – it is not just about combat.

“The young people have heard about the benefits of becoming a member of the Army Cadet Force youth organisation, the Officer Training Regiment if they go to university, or a possible army career in the future.”

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