WIT London Ambassador Will McLaren has achieved a lot in his fitness career, since leaving the Royal Marines 8 years ago. Most notably, he founded UK Bootnecks. A social hub and network for former or serving marines that WIT are proud to be supporting.
UK Bootnecks came about after a fitness competition. Speaking on the beginning of the company Will recalls “After seeing fellow Royal Marines competing, I set up a What’s App group to try and co-ordinate training sessions together. This then grew as we started to hear of more lads suffering with PTSD or mental anguish.”
Will became committed to ensuring this group would become a community for those who have previously served, or are currently doing so. To help support anyone suffering from PTSD giving them a community they can feel part of outside the military.
Culminating over the months as a large network of former serving personnel united by a shared past; training, socialising and reconnecting with each other, The UK Bootnecks became a huge part of all of their lives.
In 2019, the Bootnecks’ became prolific on the London Fitness Competition scene, winning the Turf Games City Series and the National Fitness Games. The competitive team has varies however, core competitors include Will, Dean Valis, Jordan Shuttleworth, Gus McKay, Ben Wadham and Glynn Roberts.
Working full time in new careers and training hard is now the way of life for the lads. Running their own businesses and raising their families yet still processing mental demons from the past. “That’s the challenge, we manage it by keeping communicating with each other and putting the effort in. If that means taking time off or rescheduling clients, we’ll do it to not let our brothers down.” Will McLaren.
Training is a coping mechanism available and useful to them all and they find the time to train together as often as they can. Through the shared hardship they’ve endured to earn the coveted Green Beret, teamwork is a competitive advantage they have on lockdown.
Watch the boys compete on 21st March at the National Fitness Games. Spectator tickets are available to buy now here.
Any current or ex forces men or women who want to get involved with @uk_bootnecks , follow them here.