Former Hartlepool pupil shapes up for Army career

Darren Humphries.
Darren Humphries.

A former Hartlepool pupil has successfully completed his physical training instructor course with the Army.

Darren Humphries, 20, from Hutton Henry, passed out from the Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) in Sennelager,Germany, qualifying as a physical training snstructor (PTI).

The former pupil of Hartlepool High Tunstall School of Science, who is a Lance Corporal with the Royal Military Police in Bulford, said: “I’m very pleased and proud.

“It has been a mentally and physically demanding nine weeks and something completely different from normal Unit life.

“You are doing up to five physical fitness lessons a day, preparing classes to deliver involving things like producing risk assessments and then you have to study for exams as well.

“It is pretty full-on, so it’s really important to manage your time properly and also concentrate on doing warm-ups correctly to avoid niggling little injuries.

“But it has been fun and enjoyable and we have all worked well together giving each other encouragement and assistance when it was needed.”

A keen footballer, Darren believes becoming a PTI will give him even more motivation and help with future career progression.

“I have always been interested in physical fitness, so receiving the badge will give me more determination and responsibility to not only maintain my own fitness, but look to help improve the fitness of others.

“In the future I may eventually look to transfer to the Royal Physical Training Corps.”

Following the formal pass out parade and inspection, during which Darren received his Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) badge, consisting of crossed swords and crown, his parents Glenn, a former soldier, and Leisa said: “We are both hugely proud of what Darren has achieved it has been a brilliant day and we were really glad to be here to see the parade.”

As this was the final course to be held in Germany before the school relocates to the UK, the event was marked with a Beating the Retreat ceremony by the Band of the Household Cavalry and the final lowering of the Corps flag.

Commanding Officer of the ASPT Lieutenant Colonel Keith McDonald said: “It has been a fantastic day.

“I am proud to be the Commanding Officer, proud of what the school has achieved over the years and finally proud of everyone who has passed out today.

“They have become part of history and entered the final page of our history in Germany.”