Antony Smith | MPC Newport Learner

I’m Antony Smith I’m 17 and from Newport. I left school at 15 with average GCSEs but before that I did Army Cadets for four years and had a lot of fun. I got to do a lot of cool things and I got to do most of the things that normal soldiers do like firing live rounds, Fieldcraft and a lot more. I also did my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s award.

The best part of it all was that I got to meet all the main authority figures in NATO at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor. I was lucky enough to get an invitation to be a guard of honor so I got to meet David Cameron, President Obama and the Prime Minister of Germany. Also I met a lot of officers in all different branches of the armed forces from all over the world including some Special Forces members.

After I left school I didn’t know what to do to help me achieve my goal of becoming a Royal Marine. So, after a day of looking, I found MPCT and applied to join Newport College. 3 days later I started and haven’t looked back. I’ve been here for just over a year and have meet a lot of VIPs such as the Mayor of Newport, The Lord Lieutenant and a lot of other people.

MPCT has helped me a lot with my fitness. I’ve gone from not doing anything to doing 60 press-ups , 85 sit-ups and pull-ups. I can get to level 14 out of 16 on the Beep Test fitness assessments. My 1.5 mile run time has gone from 16:50 to 9:00 minutes which is a great improvement. I also got the chance to go to the Royal Marine Training Centre and take part in a Look at Life. I got a B grade on this but without the help of the college this would not have been possible. It has also helped me a lot with my confidence. I used to suffer with mild social anxiety but after a lot of hard work I overcame it and I can now talk to anyone about anything.

My chosen job choice is to be a Royal Marine Commando. For this I will spend 32 weeks in The Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon where, I will be doing basic soldiering, fieldcraft, weapon handling and much more.

The MLT Charity has given me a lot. They helped me get my first set of kit and have given me the chance to go to Belgium and France for a battlefield tour. We stayed in Ypres, where we experienced Mametz wood, the Menin Gate and the Thiepval memorial for the missing, and many more places. I am very grateful for this opportunity, it was an amazing experience.

Whenever I get the chance, I help to raise money for the MLT. I have done every bag pack that Newport college have done since I joined and will continue to do so until I leave. They have helped so many people like me and are still doing it so I feel like it’s the least I can do. I would like to say thank-you on behalf of all the people they have helped, not only in my college but colleges in all locations.