Queen chuckled at RAF man’s bobsleigh training routine in Peterborough

The Queen was most amused after hearing about an RAF gunner’s unusual lockdown exercise regime of pushing a car up and down the streets of Peterborough.

By Laura Elston, PA
Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 5:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th July 2020, 7:46 am
Nimroy Turgott and Shanwayne Stephens trained by pushing a mini in Peterborough.
Nimroy Turgott and Shanwayne Stephens trained by pushing a mini in Peterborough.

The monarch remarked “Oh”, looked surprised and gave a chuckle when Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens, a member of the Jamaican bobsleigh team, told her how he had been using the method to keep fit.

“Well I suppose that’s one way to train,” the Queen added, laughing.

Her conversation with L/Cpl Stephens came as the Queen carried out her second official virtual royal engagement, holding a video call from Windsor Castle with members of the Armed Forces based across the globe.

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Her Majesty pictured during a video call from Windsor Castle with members of the Armed Forces based across the globe. Picture: Buckingham Palace/PA Wire

The Queen had replied “Gosh. Sounds a very dangerous job” when L/Cpl Stephens told her he was the pilot of the Jamaican bobsleigh squad.

She asked: “So how do you train?”, prompting him to tell her about his unorthodox methods.

L/Cpl Stephens, of the Queen’s Colour Squadron, was one of three military personnel who spoke to the monarch last week as she heard about the work they were carrying out at home and overseas as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The Queen, whose sign-in name on the screen was “Windsor UK”, told them: “Everybody’s been extremely busy with the pandemic and doing a wonderful job.”

Her Majesty pictured during a video call from Windsor Castle with members of the Armed Forces based across the globe. Picture: Buckingham Palace/PA Wire

L/Cpl Stephens said afterwards: “She had a big smile on her face when I said about pushing the car.

“I think she was quite impressed with that.”

Asked if the Queen had backed his bid to compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, he laughed and replied: “I’ll have to send her a T-shirt.”

Jamaica-born L/Cpl Stephens, who joined the RAF in 2011, is trained in forced protection with specialisation as a sniper.

The athlete made headlines in teh Peterborough Telegraph during lockdown by pushing his fiancee Amy’s Mini Cooper around Peterborough to keep up his fitness.

With echoes of the 1993 film Cool Runnings, he also set up a temporary weights rack in his garden to train with his teammate Nimroy Turgott, who isolated with him when lockdown began in March.

L/Cpl Stephens said: “We had to come up with our own creative ways to get our training done to be ready for our competitive season which starts in November.”

He said of the royal video-call: “It was a bit strange, I’ve been in close proximity with the Queen on quite a few occasions but never actually had a face-to-face conversation with her - well, screen-to-screen.

“She just said it had been a hard time and it was nice to keep in contact with everybody.”

He added: “She seemed very relaxed and in fact she made me feel a bit more relaxed when she came on. She was really smiley.”

The Queen spoke to representatives from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, as well as the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter.