Cardiff Residents Enlist For Charity In Challenge Reserved For Military’s Most Elite Force


Courageous locals show their support for The Commando Spirit Appeal to raise thousands for Royal Marines charity.

It’s survival of the fittest as two brave participants from Cardiff test their endurance by taking part in an arduous 30 mile training exercise designed to test the military’s most elite force.

 Tom de Souza (34) and David Cooper (50) from Cardiff will come face to face with one of the most difficult training exercises encountered by the Royal Marines when they take part in the Commando Spirit Survive The Yomp challenge.

Part of the Commando Spirit Series of fundraising challenge events raising funds for The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, the training exercise is normally only experienced by Royal Marines Commandos.

Each participant is endeavouring to raise between £500 and £1500 each for the Commando Spirit Appeal.

The Cardiff residents are among brave participants from across the world who will be heading to Scotland to take part in Survive The Yomp, which is supported by EventScotland (part of VisitScotland).

The Highlands of Scotland is the setting for the annual Survive The Yomp and the 30 mile challenge will take place in and around Spean Bridge, home to the iconic Commando Memorial, and Achnacarry Castle. Participants will follow in the footsteps of thousands of Royal Marines who trained in the remote and unforgiving terrain to become “Commandos” and prepare for their pivotal roles in World War II; the area is not called “Commando Country” for nothing!  It is especially important this year as 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the British Commandos.

On signing up for the challenge, Tom de Souza said: “The Commando Spirit Appeal really struck a chord and when I heard about this challenge I thought now is the time for me to sign up and commit to take part. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that will push me to the absolute limit but the thought of raising so much money for such a worthwhile cause will give me the willpower to get through.”

David Cooper added: “I’ve already had a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues and now I’m hoping the people of Birmingham will get behind me too and sponsor my efforts to raise a fantastic sum for the Commando Spirit Appeal for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

 “I’m also calling out to anyone in the local community to join me. If you want to create history and be part of this once in a lifetime experience, join me in Commando Country and we will get through it together!”  

 Previous participant, Ewan Smith said after last year’s event: “Being involved and taking part in Survive The Yomp was emotional and one of the greatest things I have ever done. It’s overwhelming to see so many people put their heart and soul into something so physically and mentally challenging give it their all then come out the other end with such feelings of achievement and a great big smile knowing that their efforts will make a difference to the lives of those in need. The gratitude shown in return by the Royal Marines there on the day was heartfelt and most humbling.”

Sally-Anne Hunter, Commando Spirit Series Founder and Director, said:

“All of the Survive The Yomp paricipants from Cardiff have made a big commitment and for that we are both grateful and delighted to have them on board. Survive The Yomp should not be underestimated. This is one of the most physically and mentally demanding challenges which is why it is the final test all Royal Marines Commandos face to gain their green beret.

 “These brave participants embody everything Commando Spirit stands for – their courage, grit and determination will see them through and the memories they will take from this event will last a lifetime. Everyone involved in the event will be willing them to succeed and we hope the people of Cardiff back their local participants and support the Commando Spirit Appeal for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund at the same time.”

 The Commando Spirit Series offers participants a rare insight into what it means to be a Royal Marines Commando today. Commando Spirit participants get the chance to test their courage and character against some of the most formidable aspects of Royal Marines training, be supported through their experience by our Royal Marines, be invited to Royal Marines events and help raise life changing sums for those in need.

 Major General Martin Smith, Commandant General of the Royal Marines said:

” I am delighted Survive The Yomp will take place in iconic Commando Country and take us back to our old ‘yomping’ ground in and around Achnacarry, Scotland. I wish all participants the very best of luck, and extend my gratitude for their tremendous fundraising efforts.”

 Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Survive the Yomp will once again put participants through an incredible test of endurance in the stunning Scottish Highlands. We are delighted to be supporting the event this year and look forward to seeing the action unfold in Achnacarry this September.”

For more information on the Commando Spirit Appeal and Series or to take part in Survive The Yomp, please visit

 To sponsor Tom or David please visit