Royal Navy sailors from Portsmouth-based HMS Temeraire have kick-started an 'uphill' fundraising challenge that will see them conduct dozens of ascents of a new purpose-built indoor climbing wall to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

The building of HMS Temeraire’s new indoor climbing wall was possible thanks to a series of £34,000 grants awarded by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, the Royal Navy Sports Lottery and the Royal Navy’s own Adventurous Training Fund. The new facility will directly benefit Royal Naval personnel undertaking Naval Service Adventurous Training.

Located in the Fleet Gymnasium, the indoor climbing wall has been designed to support a wide spectrum of activities and users from complete novice climbers to personnel conducting circuit training and organised climbing clubs. It will offer a first class recreational and adventurous training facility to Royal Navy personnel on-board front line ships rotating and operating from Portsmouth as well as those serving in the Portsmouth area and their families.

HMS Temeraire's Road To Twickenham Campaign

In the weeks to come, hundreds of HMS Temeraire’s sailors, staff and trainees will take turns to conduct as many as 100 ascents of the new wall each – which combined with cycling, running, rowing and swimming efforts represent the 70 miles from the establishment that is home of Royal Navy sport to Twickenham Stadium. Those who take part will have to have completed their individual 70 mile target by the time the Army v Navy rugby fixture kicks off on 30 April.

HMS Temeraire has now joined many other Road To Twickenham teams such as the ship's company of Portsmouth's HMS Mersey, which is deployed in the Caribbean, who will collectively aim to run, row, cycle and exercise around 3,000 miles.

The official opening 

After an inspirational pass out for PO Mat Jones, CPL Matt Carter, AET Carl Stubbs and LPT Ian 'Smokey' Cole who all completed the Adventure Training Leaders Course, PO Tim Eckersley officially opened the wall.

PO Eckersley said: “The climbing wall will have a massive impact as it will be available to everybody, incorporating climbing devices for the complete novice user, unsupervised, to advanced lead climbers. It will also incorporate features to lend its use to functional circuits, development of maritime skill sets and winter ice climbing as well as lead and led climbing. We are extremely thankful to the organisations that made this possible through a series of grants.”

LPT Ian 'Smokey' Cole said: "It’s important because it’s another thing to help us encourage our sailors off the ships and to stay navy fit."

Read more about our Road To Twickenham campaign on our Virgin Money Giving page and use #RTT16 on Twitter to let us know how you can get involved.