Having successfully completed all the local training and the 50 mile WARMA (Walking And Road Marching Association) qualifying marches at RAF Cosford, two members of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets were chosen as members of the team representing Norfolk & Suffolk Wing of the Air Training Corps in the arduous Nijmegen four day marches in Holland.
42F’s staff member Sergeant Alex Stapleton RAFAC was chosen to lead the Wing team of eleven which also included 17 year old Cadet Flight Sergeant Adam Bocking from the Lynn squadron. Adam said “It was a challenge but ultimately a very rewarding one. This was my second attempt at getting in the team and I am really glad I stuck at it. I shall defiantly try for the Wing team again next year”.
The marches, covering 100 miles, took place over the four days of 16th to 19th July and saw an amazing 47,000 people from 73 countries across the globe take part. Almost 6,000 of these were members of international military teams that had come together to participate in the challenge.
Sergeant Stapleton, on his return explained that this year’s march had been his third time and a first for Cadet Ft Sgt Bocking. On arrival in Holland the team had spent two days prior to the march soaking up the festival atmosphere. He explained that the march was roughly 25 miles each day with the route taking them through nearby towns and villages where everyone was out on the road cheering everybody on.
“I am very proud of every member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Wing team for completing all four days of this the 103rd Nijmegen Marches, continuing the Wing’s five year record of zero drop-outs. They showed determination and resilience and fantastic teamwork during this exhausting activity. To top it off, we were nominated for the best RAFAC team out of all the Air Cadet teams in the whole British Military Contingent! All the hard work that cadets and staff have been putting in over the last year has certainly paid off this week!”
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Article submitted by 42F Media & Communications Officer Mike Lister.