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Fijian Named Best Recruit at UK Passing Out Parade

Fijian Named Best Recruit at UK Passing Out Parade
September 27
11:17 2017

It was a special day for Fijian-born Gunner Totivi Sanday from Tavualevu, when he received the Best Recruit baton during the passing out parade of the Army Training Regiment Pirbright (ATR(P)),  at Hampshire, United Kingdom on Monday.

Gunner Sanday’s day was made even more special because he was presented with his scroll by Dame Kelly Holmes DBE (Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) double gold medal-winner at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a former member of the Armed Forces.

Kelly served for 10 years, first as lorry driver in the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) before becoming an Army Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps.

Gunner Sanday, known as ‘The Rock’ to those in his troop, embraced the intense physical and mental challenges thrown at him during his Phase One training and thoroughly enjoyed his time.

He has completed 14 weeks of training which is designed to give entrants the basic military skills to undertake the duties required of a soldier and to fully prepare them for further stages of training.

Before deciding to join the Army, Gunner Sanday was an electrical engineer at Nadi International Airport in Fiji. He is married to wife Peggy.

He is not the first of his family to consider a career in the army. He has three uncles who are serving, two in the Royal Engineers and one in the Infantry.

Gunner Sanday said: “My uncles have really supported me and I am very grateful but ultimately I would like to thank my family back home for supporting me to come to England.

“It’s been really hard because I’ve had this dream since I was a child and I saw my three uncles in the British Army.

“When I was younger my parents asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to join the Army and now I’ve done it!”

During their training, recruits are monitored and identified as being potential winners within their troops for five awards which are handed out at their passing out parades. On this occasion Totivi was selected as the winner for Best Recruit.

“I really wasn’t expecting to win Best Recruit; my friend said to me during our training that I was going to win best recruit and today (on Monday) I asked him if he remembered saying that to me. He was right, I feel amazing,” Gunner Sanday said.

Gunner Sanday is set to join the Royal Artillery and will continue the next part of his training at Royal Artillery Barracks in Larkhill.

Army Media & Communications, Hampshire, UK

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