A crack team from TOG signs up for extreme corporate bonding on an SAS training scheme for office softies
There’s a certain kind of hopeless chap who sits in a pub and, in hushed tones, claims to have been “in the SAS”. Well, you too can be that guy — only with rather more authority to your claim. A new company, Break-Point, is offering the most hardcore corporate training experience ever: a two- day Who Dares Wins course run on the lines of the Special Air Service. And it makes the re- walking and bungee jumping of yesterday look positively vanilla.
Break-Point was started by Matthew “Ollie” Ollerton, 45, and Jason “Foxy” Fox, 40. Backed up by a team of battle-hardened grunts they’ll bag you, beast you and break you — for a small consideration, of course. This is business, but at least you’re getting the real thing: namely, the ne plus ultra of corporate jollies.
You may have seen Foxy and Ollie in the Channel 4 series Who Dares Wins, soon to have a new outing. They are the full Who Dares monty: after completing their SAS training, they joined the Special Boat Service (SBS) to qualify as Special Forces combat frogmen. Ollie went on to serve seven years in Iraq, some behind enemy lines, followed by charitable projects that included stopping human trafficking and drug cartels in Southeast Asia. Finding himself back in the UK and preferring not to follow ex- colleagues into the world of global security and mercenary work, Ollie thought up Break-Point. “I just didn’t want to go anywhere any more where there was a strong chance of getting killed,” he says, quite reasonably.
There are two aspects to a Break-Point weekend: training and mission. After briefing you should expect a fun schedule that includes kidnappings, ambushes, interrogation and bone-crushing hikes with heavy packs.
Matt Green, 33, was part of a TOG team of about 14 that did a two-day Break-Point workshop. “When we arrived we were bundled into a Land Rover with black hoods over our heads, and driven without instructions for 25 disorientating minutes. On the second day, after very little sleep, we were woken up with smoke grenades, walked for miles, then kidnapped by two guys in balaclavas and interrogated. It was very convincing and we were hungry, as the food is much less than you’d ordinarily eat.” His verdict? “A brilliant weekend.”
Matt’s colleague Matt Watts, TOG’s sales director, was “really apprehensive. And it was totally demanding, mentally and physically”. At one point, after going on a six-mile yomp, Watts, 33, was ready to quit. “But I found a pack of sugar in my bag and kept going.”
The corporate benefits are obvious, says Ollie, because in extreme situations, internal strife, petty rivalry, and of ce politics just have to be sorted. “In the SAS, if you don’t do the job, you get killed,” he says. “You have to go beyond the ego.” Matt Green says it made the team more resilient, though it was slightly odd sleeping close up to his marketing director.
There can be unexpected consequences to such training: that the of ce mouse in-charge- of-paperclips can turn out to be the baddest general since Ivan the Terrible, while the swaggering jock crumbles under pressure. “It can be quite unpredictable,” says Ollie. “It’s more about the mental stuff than your ability to yomp with a backpack.”
So what are you waiting for? Your inner Rambo awaits. For more information about Break- Point’s new health-and- tness portal, visit break-point.co.uk