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Article posted: Nov 16, 2009 by sl1

1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn has won the annual South & East Midlands Wing Cross Country competition for the first time in its 68 year history.

The competition took place on Sunday 15th November at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and despite very muddy conditions, the twenty Cadets from Swadlincote raced to victory, beating 28 other teams from within Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire to take home four out of six trophies.

The team of young men and women from South Derbyshire raced in five different age categories and successfully won three of them, the Boys, Youths and Junior Women classes. Cadet Nicole Sigston (17) from Swadlincote, who collected the Junior Women’s Trophy, said, “I was absolutely shattered at the end of the race, but it was really worth it and I felt so proud to collect the trophy on behalf of the girls”.

1211 Sqn Cadets with the 4 winning trophies Left to Right: Cadet Luke Thorpe with the ‘Boys’ class trophy, Sergeant Aaron Figuerolla with the ‘Youths’ class trophy, Cadet Warrant Officer Richard Gaskell with the Overall winners trophy and Cadet Nicole Sigston with the ‘Junior Womens’ trophy

Winning three classes, combined with the fantastic effort from the cadets in the other two classes, saw the 1211 Sqn lifting the overall winners trophy, presented to team captain Cadet Warrant Officer Richard Gaskell (18) by Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson, Officer Commanding South & East Midlands Wing.

Cadet Warrant Officer Richard Gaskell, receives the Overall winners trophy from Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson, Officer Commanding South & East Midlands Wing

Squadron Sports Officer, Flight Sergeant (ATC) Ben Turner, who led the team to its success said, “The whole team approached this competition with a great deal of self-belief, enthusiasm and determination and to win 4 out of the 6 available trophies, the cadets should be extremely proud of their achievements. As well as this being a fantastic team effort, there were also some outstanding individual performances and Sgt Aaron Figuerola (16) and a number of other members from the team will now go on to represent South & East Midlands Wing in the Regional Cross Country competition”.

The Winning Cross Country team from 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn with their 4 Trophy haul

2009 has been a great year of sporting and physical achievement for 1211 Sqn. Not normally known for being a ‘sporty’ unit, the cadets have represented their Squadron and Wing in Hockey, Football, Rugby, Netball, Athletics and Swimming, achieving great success in all of them. Flight Lieutenant Rob Moore, one of the adult volunteers that helps run the Squadron in the rural town of Swadlincote, commented, “Our cadets have gone from strength to strength this year, they keep building on previous successes and this historic Cross-Country win is evidence of this. This win has been a long time coming and against the outstanding competition today, the cadets have done themselves, their Squadron and their community proud.”

In the tradition of celebrating success 1211 style and as a small thank you to the cadets for their brilliant performance, Officer Commanding 1211 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson actually dipped into his own pocket and treated the tired but happy cadets to a celebratory meal on the way home from the competition.