PUBLISHED IN THE WANTAGE AND GROVE REVIEW, 19 AUG 13.
Cadet Sergeant Luke Casey, a 17 year old member of 1861 (Wantage) Squadron Air Training Corps Squadron, has recently returned from taking part in the annual 4-day Nijmegen marches in Holland. He was part of an 11-strong team from Thames Valley Wing who were named as the best Air Cadet Team at the event, beating 34 other Air Training Corps teams to bring home the coveted Ford Shield. Said Flying Officer Jane Wicks from Didcot Squadron, one of the two staff who coached the team and who completed the march alongside them, “Sgt Casey was very determined throughout the event and deserves the award of his Nijmegen medal.” This year’s marches, the 97th annual set in the series, were completed by 39,396 participants. Military competitors march in a squad, in step, in uniform and with all the kit they need for the day packed in their rucksacks.
They march a total of 160km: around 40km each day for 4 days. “It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget,” said Sgt Casey, “but it was very tough. The middle of day three was my personal low point but the morale of the team really pulled me through. I highly recommend the challenge to anyone. My feet have just about recovered”. Squadron Leader Chris Breward, Officer Commanding 1861 (Wantage) Squadron and Sector Commander for South and West Oxfordshire, said “I commend Sgt Casey, and the team, for the fantastic achievement of bringing the Ford Trophy to Thames Valley Wing.” The Air Training Corps is a national youth organisation for young people between 13 and 19 who have an interest in aviation and adventure. 1861 (Wantage) Squadron has its Headquarters on Icknield Lane, Wantage, OX12 8ES and meets from 1900-2145 every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Our next recruit intake, for young people aged 13-17, starts on 17 September 2013. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, drop in and see us at our Headquarters, visit our website: http://www.wantage-sqn.net or call us on 01235 762079.