Skilled unit claims Northern Area win
They are a force to be reckoned with.
A Mangawhai Cadets team of 10 won the Northern Area Skills competition in the Tamaki Leadership Centre at Army Bay last week for the second time running.
The group will compete against two others from around the country for the national title in November.
About 140 cadets aged between 13 and 18 spent three days battling it out at the Skill-at-Arms annual competition.
It is run in a round-robin style with teams competing over a series of 12 different activities, including marksmanship, navigation, medical casualty evacuation, radio use, fitness tests, confidence courses and military skills such as drill and service knowledge.
The team is ecstatic, including member Sam Bridge, 18, who was part of the unit last year that won the regional title.
"The whole event is a really good. You never have a break, you're constantly busy and always have something to do."
His favourite challenge was the equipment carry where the team carry items between them, such as barrels, a tyre and wood, without dropping anything.
"It pushes you to your limit," Sam says.
"You have to work as a team and it is good to see what training does."
The 10 trained for the competition every weekend for 10 weeks, plus Wednesday nights.
"Before the competition we stayed together as a team for the week and woke up at 6am to get used to it," Sam says.
He left Rodney College after year 12 with the credits he needs to get into the armed forces and works fulltime in construction.
"I want to do a bit of travelling then join the forces next year. I think that having a bit of life experience will help my application."
Sam first joined the cadets after his friends convinced him to come to a training night.
Simone Cameron, 15, also joined after friends invited her.
"It's good fun," she says. "Instead of staying home, sitting around and being lazy I'm out here. I like the thrill of competition and being a winner."
The year 10 Rodney College student would like to join the army or air force.
Both cadets credit their unit commander Sandra Grayson for their success.
The national competition runs from November 2 to 4 at the Tamaki Training Centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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