The Royal Marines are teaming up with emergency service teams in South London for a demanding open day of events designed to push participants to their limits.

Challenge South London is a free, open-access event that sees the Royal Marines reserves team up with Fire Brigade crews, the Met Police, London Ambulance Service (LAS) and Harlequins Rugby team among other groups.

Free to enter for anyone aged 14-16 years old, two events will host six challenges to test entrants for their skills in self-defence, endurance, nutrition, mental strength and self-esteem among other disciplines.

The tasks embody the four characteristics Royal Marines are traditionally associated with: Courage, Determination, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness.

Leftenant Colonel Jason Durup, the commanding officer of the Royal Marines Reserves in London, spoke with the Comet about what Challenge South London entails:

"Some (challenges) will test physical fitness, some courage, put participants outside their comfort zone, while others will test life skills from nutrition to unarmed self-defence.

"Each team that participates have a Royal Marine and Met Police officer going through the challenges with them," Durup said.

The event was born in 2018 and designed by the Royal Marines in partnership with area schools like the Southfields Academy.

The hope was to encourage teenagers who might not feel like they're fulfilling their potential to have a go at tasks from abseiling to self-defence training they might not otherwise be able to.

The results of Challenge South London have frequently been impressive.

For example, a 16-year-old girl who took part in a previous Challenge South London event, where she played rugby for the first time, is now part of the Harlequins Youth Academy Girls squad.

"We give four prizes at the end of the day for the four commando qualities: Courage, Determination, Unselfishness and Cheerfulness.

"Because the challenges are all so different, there's always something there that will take people out of their comfort zone and it's surprising really who ends up impressing us the most," Durup said.

He added that the event was a way for young people to push themselves in ways that are usually outside their own experiences.

"Some people don't really know what they're capable of. Unless you push people to their limits, it's hard for people to find the circumstances where they can understand what they're capable of.

"The only way people develop resilience be it physical, mental or emotional resilience, is to go out of your comfort zone, be allowed to fail perhaps and then have to deal with that failure or success," Durup said.

Challenge South London is free to enter with online registration, and is taking place at Southfields Academy on Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20, from 9.30am.