Air Cadets from 126 (City of Derby) Squadron have spent the last twelve months on target, at the top of their game. The skill of marksmanship is taken very seriously at 126 Squadron and the shooting team have achieved remarkable results under the expert tuition of Adult Flight Sergeant Helen Southall. As we approach the end of the year, the trophy cabinet is full of gleaming trophies and the cadets can reflect on a year of first rate success.
The young marksmen and women compete in different shooting disciplines including small bore and full bore. In small bore, the team won almost every competition on offer in 2012 including the Punch Trophy, Committee Shield, Whistler competition, WJ Taylor competition and the Tom Perry Match. The team walked away with 5 Corps Blues. Individually, Cadet Sergeant Alice Southall won a Silver Spoon in the Punch Trophy for a maximum possible score and Cadet Flight Sergeant James Thompstone was named top shot in the Region Field Day.
In the world of full bore, the team performed to an equally high standard, coming first and third in the Air Gunners Trophy and gaining first place in the V Club Long Range Match. The Derby cadets were awarded 7 Cadet 100 badges and 3 Corps Blues.
Badges kept coming in the Service Rifle meets with 2 cadets winning Cadet 50 badges and 2 cadets winning Corps Blues.
126 Squadron have an impeccable reputation and as a result, several cadets won places on rare overseas shooting meets. Cadet Sergeant Alice Southall competed in the Channel Islands as part of the UK Cadet Rifle Team over the summer where she was awarded the Le Riche Trophy for top shot. In September, Cadet Flight Sergeant James Thompstone and Cadet Sergeant Dean Cotterill earned a place with the British Cadet Rifle Team in the Athelings tour of Canada.
Adult Flight Sergeant Southall has made it a priority this year to give the cadets as much training and skills as possible. Taking part in competitions has been enhanced by training courses. One cadet gained a NRA Club Instructor Award and four cadets gained their NRA Advanced Skills.
Marksmanship gives Air Cadets the chance to learn a new skill that requires discipline, dedication and perseverance. Along with outstanding coaching, this has put the Derby team at the top of their game.
Adult Flight Sergeant Southall said, “The cadets have trained hard this year for numerous competitions. They have given up many weekends to train to the highest standard. We have worked hard but along the way we have met new friends and had lots of fun. I am very proud to end the year with a trophy cabinet that is bursting at the seams”.