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New Year's Honours: Johanna Rohan

New Year's Honours: Johanna Rohan

Johanna Rohan, Chair of Canterbury Sea Cadets, recently received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to young people in Kent. We caught up with her to find out what she thinks of it all…

It is a great honour and was a surprise to be recognised for the voluntary work that I have been doing with Canterbury Sea Cadets, of which I have been involved with for just over 15 years! It needs to be said that of course there are many other people who have been on this journey with me, whom, without their encouragement to carry on fundraising, I would have become very disheartened.

My two boys joined Canterbury Sea Cadets and both stayed until they were 16, our unit was a very cold tumbled down building which in the time that we were there became quite a dangerous place and not fit for purpose. So, the brief was to find money and a site to build a new unit. As Canterbury Sea Cadets have been around for over 50 years we knew it was worth saving!

I would like to add, as a parent of former cadets, just how important the Sea Cadets were in their lives, when we all went through a very rocky three years in our personal lives, Sea Cadets was the one thing that was a routine, every Tuesday and Thursday was cadet night and they couldn't wait to get there.

I was very grateful to the staff who ran the cadets and the dedication that they showed. Without staff, there would have been no unit nights. By joining the committee, it was my way to say thank you. I just didn't realise I was going to stay so long!!

It took more than three years to get everything together and we now have a great new building adjacent to the River Stour. It meant long evenings writing and rewriting application forms and visiting businesses to ask for help, it was fantastic to see the building rise from the ground and even better now to see cadets in it and boats outside of it!

Onward we go, raising funds to complete the second floor, a container and a mini-bus!! THE JOURNEY NEVER ENDS!!

Thanks to Johanna for all of her hard work over the years, and congratulations on her well-deserved BEM!

Why running puts the biggest smile on my face!

Why running puts the biggest smile on my face!

With many cadets, volunteers, parents and staff taking part in our My Mighty Marathon challenge this New Year, we thought we would ask some of them about their activities. Charlie Maling, a Training Development Officer in the national office, is a keen runner and shares how she started the New Year…

It was 9 am on 1 January 2019 and I was jogging down to the local underground station. Quite a few partygoers were still wandering in the opposite direction, after plenty of New Year’s Eve merriment! So why was I in bed at ten and jumping up early on New Year’s Day rather than ‘going out and having fun’?

The answer is that on 1 January every year, Serpentine Running Club host their New Year’s Day 10k race in Hyde Park. Ten kilometres of brisk, chilly winter morning racing – for most, run on a sore head. For me, though, running hard on the first day of a new year sets the tone for the way I want the next 364 to go.

I jogged from Marble Arch to the race start where my friends were waiting. We dropped our bags and started to warm up. It was lovely to be out chatting and socialising rather than complaining about a hangover! At eleven am, we lined up on the packed and buzzing start line waiting for the final countdown.

Three…two…one… we were off! It was cold enough that my shoelaces felt like tiny whips against my ankles and I huddled in behind taller runners for the first couple of miles to keep out of the wind. Nevertheless, I have never felt so strong! I didn’t want to begin my new year with the guilty feeling of having indulged too much over Christmas. I wanted to begin by achieving something, by setting the bar for the year ahead. My goal was to run a PB (personal best) and to finally dip under 40 minutes for 10km. I felt great throughout the race – it was fun to look at the startled stares of dog walkers who had dragged themselves out for their pets’ first walk of the year, and I even relished pushing through the pain barrier at 7km, overtaking those who had set off too fast or had a drink too many the night before. Even the bit at the end where I had to dodge two geese and a squirrel was exhilarating.

I finished the race in 39 minutes 13 seconds, joined minutes later by two of my female team-mates, which meant we won the team prize! The race photos say it all – I was grinning all over my face. Beginning the year with a hard, fast run leaves me feeling like I can do anything I put my mind to. It leaves me feeling strong and determined. And best of all, running in the morning means I can eat as much as I like for brunch!

If you’re taking part in My Mighty Marathon, whether you’re doing one mile at a time or tackling all of them at once, get in touch and tell us about it at getinvolved@ms-sc.org!

SEA CADETS NATIONAL TROPHIES AND AWARDS ANNOUNCED

SEA CADETS NATIONAL TROPHIES AND AWARDS ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to this year's national trophy and award winners, announced today.

Flitwick & Ampthill has won the coveted Canada Trophy, which is awarded to the unit considered to have attained the highest standard over the year. Portsmouth has secured the Thomas Gray Memorial Trophy, which is the runner-up to the Canada Trophy and was won last year by Scarborough and, finally, South Sheilds took home the Captain’s Cup.

Captain Sea Cadets, Captain Phil Russell, said: "Overall the standards this year were really high, so choosing a winner was a very difficult task. All of the nominees are doing an excellent job in delivering the Sea Cadets experience, however, a special mention must go to Flitwick & Ampthill who’s cadet focused approach stood out a little further than the rest."

Other awards and trophies include:

Stephenson Trophy: Flitwick & Ampthill, Southwark, South Shields, Barrow in Furness, Portsmouth, and Tewkesbury

McBeath Trophy: Richmond

Captain Roddie Casement Sword: SC/Lt (SCC) James Thompson RNR, London

Next year's Gibraltar Cup contenders were also revealed. They are:

Eastern Area: Sheffield

London Area: Chelmsford

Northern Area: Queensferry

North West Area: Preston

Southern Area: Caterham

South West Area: Redditch & Bromsgrove

You can view the full list of winners here.

NCS Graduation 2018

NCS Graduation 2018

This year, 40 participants of the Sea Cadets National Citizen Service programme attended a graduation ceremony in Bristol to celebrate their success.

The event took place at Engineer’s House, with special guests Vice Lord Lieutenant Dr Timothy Graham, Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Cleo Lake and Captain and Cdr Morton AO SW in attendance.

A Day At The Races

A Day At The Races

Sea Cadets from all over Severn District (SW Area) took part in a day of commemorations which culminated the end of acts of 100 years Remembrance within the County of Gloucestershire on Sunday. Gloucestershire Sea Cadets and staff supported the event commencing with a ‘return from the front’ steam train from Toddington GWSR station arriving at the racecourse platform (CO and 2 cadets from Tewkesbury) joining the larger parade of 40 cadets and staff forming part of the Tri Service contingents parading. Outgoing Lord Lt (Dame Janet Trotter CVO DBE OBE) and incoming Lord Lt (Edward Gillespie OBE) were present commending the smartness and thanking all concerned, organised by Lord Rupert DeMauley culminated with a March past for HRH Princess Royal. WW1 Aircraft display, WW1 re-enactments, the part Horses played in the War all formed the backdrop of the days displays and activities. 20000 visitors looked over the act of remembrance and parade, not least the 4Million viewers on ITV and Channel 4 racing Live on Sunday. We were joined by contingents from The Rifles, Mounted Cavalry, Waterloo Band of the Rifles, The Glosters, ACF, CCF, ATC.

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