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Cadets just miss out on the national finals

13 CCF cadets from the RAF Section met at school to travel to RAF Cranwell to compete in the regional finals of the Ground Training Competition.

At 0730 on Sunday morning 13 CCF cadets from the RAF Section met at school to travel to RAF Cranwell to compete in the regional finals of the Ground Training Competition. The cadets have qualified to compete in this competition every year BUT what a day we were about to have…..

Lead by newly promoted Cadet Warrant Officer Edward Atkinson & Sergeant Cara Jacques, accompanied by Corporal Louis Norman, Corporal Hannah Churchill, Corporal Emily Dyer, Lance Corporal Henry Atkinson, Lance Corporal Jake Carder, Lance Corporal Ollie Dunnett, Cadet Callum Frances, Cadet Katy Cannings, Cadet Stephen Anderson, Cadet Bethany Dyer, Cadet Connor Hoskin.

The cadets had to compete in 6 events over a long and intense day, then wait to here for the results. Last year they achieved 8th place out of 15 teams. The day would end up going so much better then this.

Events in order of completion:

First Aid – 5 Cadets dealing with an unknown first aid situation. Team Captain – Cpl Emily Dyer. Upon entry into the room Dyer immediately took control of the situation assessing the casualty and allocating roles to her team. The male casualty was in the early stages of a heart attack and his wife was obviously becoming distressed (both parts played by actors). Emily and Bethany took control of the casualty with Emily showing great skill and knowledge in using the defibrillator whilst Cara and Katy looked after the distressed wife ,leaving Callum on the phone to the ambulance. The task finished and Bethany was highly commended for her CPR skills, which had been performed without error for over 5 minutes.

DCCT Shooting – 5 Cadets competing on an indoor range against another school in a variety of shooting drills to score as many points as possible. Unfortunately we only had 4 cadets ready to shoot leaving us at a disadvantage to begin with but Edward, Hannah, Jake & Henry all shot well.

Fitness – 4 Cadets, male or female to compete against another school in the 20 minute bleep test. Male cadets required a minimum of level 9.10 to score any points with females needing level 7.02. Creditable performances from Edward and Henry gained us some points but congratulations must go to Hannah and Connor, Hannah running into level 10 and Connor into level 11, gaining us a very competitive 62 points.

Drill – All 13 Cadets on the parade square presenting themselves with immaculate uniform and highly bulled shoes before performing a 50 piece drill sequence under the command of their CWO (Edward). Considering we had 5 first time competitors from Year 10 (Katy, Connor, Callum, Stephen & Bethany) and the complexity of the routine, along with only a few sessions off timetable to practice, they performed extremely well. A few nerves, the odd step out of time, but overall a solid performance that the judging Warrant Officer simply said needing polishing a little. A great compliment for a developing team.

 Command Task – A 20 minute leadership task. Team Captain – A reluctant Cpl Hannah Churchill, who despite passing her leadership course in the summer with flying colours remained unsure of her abilities due to a difficult lead last year in the competition. The task was to build and activate a minefield. Hannah was given a detailed 10 minute briefing  of the task and then needed to formulate a plan, brief her team and get to work. She lead with confidence and total control, losing only a few points across all categories. Comments from the officer in charge was “she was all over it like a rash”. The only minor issue being Jake, Cara and Stephen were killed having been blown up in the minefield!

Aircraft Recognition – 4 Cadets being tested at speed on her ability to recognise a full range of aircraft, past and present. Team Captain Ollie Dunnett, who last year scored 29/30 and was determined that this situation would be rectified this year. And he did, 30/30 with 33 seconds left! Jake – 24/30, Edward 26/30 and Louis 27/30. An average score of 26. An absolutely fantastic performance at speed and under pressure.

So after what the Cadets thought was a good day, they eagerly awaited the results, maybe they might do better than 8th this year, although the feeling was, well we are a small section and these are all schools with hundreds of cadets to choose from. How wrong could they be!

First Aid – 1st Place                           – The smiles began

Command Task – 1st Place            – The smiles were now growing

Aircraft Recognition – 1st Place    – Expected (hoped for) but the smiles were now huge

Drill – Not placed in the first 3 places

Fitness – 4th

Shoot – Not placed in the first 3 places(expected due to the missing person)

Knowledge test – sat at school .

The mood and expectation had now fallen again. BUT as the results were read out, 13th place, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, (we had improved on last year )7th, 6th, 5th 4th (the anxiety and excitement was through the roof), 3rd – Priory LSST, 2nd Oundle School, 1st Kimbolton School. The excitement and disappointment all in one, we had absolutely smashed any other previous result BUT we had just missed out on the National Finals.

Congratulations must go to all the cadets and thanks to the staff who have allowed them to miss lessons and focus on the competition this week. The planning for next year has already began, we will make the finals.