Swim Serpentine

Swim Serpentine

Earlier in the year, I was asked if I would take on a challenge event to fundraise for Sea Cadets, at which point I said, the only two things I could do was swim or climb.  The team told me that they were entering a new challenge event called Swim Serpentine, so I decided I would give it a go.

My biggest worries before I started were:

  • I had not been swimming regularly for 20 years
  • When will I fit in the practice?
  • Will I be able to swim a mile?
  • And my biggest worry was how will I raise the minimum amount (£200)

At every opportunity, I tried to practice. I swam in Scotland White Sands and Gorleston on Sea. During my practice period, I began to worry about the cold rather than the distance so I started to have cold showers, and would purposely swim in cold water to see how long I could last.

I really wanted to raise a substantial sum for the offshore team because I really believe in the impact offshore voyages have. I was really surprised at the support I got from friends, family and volunteers -it made me really happy and motivated.

On the day I was terrified. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’d never swam in cold water, lakes or ponds for longer than 10 minutes. Plus, I’d never swam in a wetsuit before, which made me panic as I wasn’t sure how it would it affect me.

I also needed to swim without my glasses and I actually can’t see without them, but that turned out to be a good thing because I couldn’t see how far I had left. Although, a swan did get in my way which was interesting considering I couldn't see!

A highlight for me was meeting a lovely lady who was also taking it slow, she kept me company most of the way until we were separated by aggressive swimmers.

I finished the challenge in 1 hour 15 minutes which I am very pleased with. Although, it still feels like someone else did the challenge and not me. If I learnt anything from the experience it would be that you can never practice too much!


- Ami Haralambous, National Fundraising Officer


Sponsor me to raise money for offshore bursaries.

Great Glen Trial Expedition

Great Glen Trial Expedition

When I went on the Great Glen Trail, I’ll admit I didn’t know I was going to have as much fun as I did. It was a great experience to be a part of and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go on such an excellent trip away in the Scottish lochs and canals. I met so many new people on my journey that I won’t forget, cadets and staff members and had some memorable moments. I wouldn’t ask for better people to enjoy the experience with. From camping to the actually kayaking approximately 60 miles up to Inverness; I had the best experience of my life and I would recommend that others should have a go at the Great Glen Trail whether it be a part of Sea Cadets or a part of a group of friends or family.

From the whole week, I would say that my favourite part of the whole trip was the day we set off into Loch Ness. Surfing the rough water while getting soaked in the process and how we had to wild camp on a bank. It gave me a sense of freedom looking across the loch. Seeing the high mountains that towered over the water, smothered by the fog, giving such a beautiful landscape. Not only that, kayaking the next morning with the idea of finishing the whole trip felt amazing.

Having a great feeling of triumph and pride when we did the Great Glen was quite possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had.


- Able Cadet David, Maryport and Solway Unit

National Band Competition

National Band Competition

Hello, I am Leading Cadet McKenzie T.

Last weekend I travelled to London to take part in Sea Cadets’ National Band competition at the Tower of London.

This was my last cadet competition before I start training for the Royal Navy and over my 6 years of life in Sea Cadets, I can by far say that this stands out as my best experience.

I took part to represent Southport Sea Cadets as a Bugler and bell lyre player in our unit band, as well as competing in the solo bugling competition.

Southport Sea Cadet’s unit band won the area competition, which meant we represented the North West Area. We were the smallest band in the competition against the other areas. Despite this, after months of hard work and commitment from every member, our band placed 4th overall which felt very rewarding and proved that hard work pays off.

The standard was very high, and watching the others bands perform was also an amazing experience because seeing the hard work and skill of so many other cadets in action made everyone feel proud to be part of such a special, talented organisation and prestigious event.

However, the best part for me was definitely seeing the support from our units staff and parents, We had a large group of them travelling down to watch us and after our display, seeing their reactions made a lot of our band overcome with emotion and that was the moment when we realised that we should all be extremely proud.

In the solo bugling event, I placed 3rd, therefore received a bronze medal which feels fantastic to come away from a national competition with.  However, looking aside from the competitive element of it all, I would recommend every sea cadet join a unit or massed band if possible.

It really doesn’t matter what musical capabilities you have, there is, in every band, a role for you.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and the majority of our band had no idea what they were capable of until they tried something new.

For example, my brother Leading Cadet McKenzie O only started to practice the role of being drum major a few weeks before we played at nationals, only to receive a silver medal for being the 2nd best drum major in the country.

So, you never know! Start practising and two years from now you could be at the Tower of London having so much fun! Because, in the end, no matter where anyone placed, the whole weekend was a rewarding, proud and exciting experience. And, the support, happiness and talent radiating from everyone there was the best I’ve ever seen at a Sea Cadet event.  

Well done everyone! 


- LC Mckenzie, Southport 

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

I have been at Sea Cadets for four years. I started at the age of 10 and at age 14 I’m still here and still enjoying it!

I have done some really amazing things with Sea Cadets. In 2018, I escorted the mayor of Maidstone to France with 3 other cadets. We had to parade around a little area showing the French what we do.

Another great thing I love about Sea Cadets is that we go to some really cool events, like Combined Military Ops at Headcorn Airfield.

It’s also taught me so many different skills like first aid and because of this I now want to become a paramedic.

When I put my uniform on I feel free and feel I can do whatever I put my mind to, it’s a sense of pride I feel where I don’t get anywhere else.

As sea cadets, we try to get as much time in the water as possible like kayaking, sailing and rowing.

I have been on BCU kayaking course and loved it I know go kayaking with my cousin as much as I can. I have also entered kayaking competitions and came first in the 500m sprint. I was put through to the Area competition. This is another great opportunity to make more friends on the way, as courses are available to all cadets.

All the staff are very friendly and most have lots of stories to tell from when they were cadets them self or from when they were in the navy. The officers we meet are some of the kindest and most interesting people and great to talk to.

I would recommend Sea Cadets to anyone.

We are not just cadets that see each other twice a week we are family and we stick together.


-Holly, Maidstone Sea Cadets 

Buster and his LegaSea

Buster and his LegaSea

Terence Evans, known as Buster, was a devote Sea Cadet.  In 1955 he won the National Sea Cadet Boxing Championships as Ordinary Sea Cadet Evans at the Royal Albert Hall in London and was presented with a trophy by The Duke of Edinburgh. 

There is a short clip on YouTube of the event and the presentation by Prince Phillip. where he is referred to as 'A plucky little tower of tomorrow'  -he was very short! 

In addition to my Uncle's commitment to the Corps, my eldest daughter Kaitlyn joined as soon as she could.

Kailyn suffers from Asperger's / Autism and was struggling with life in general until she found the cadets! She is now full of confidence, determination and strength just like her Uncle before her.  She transferred to the Royal Marines Cadets and continued to excel at all she does. She has taken part in offshore voyages on all the vessels, Summer/Easter camps, CATSEA, the London Trafalgar Parade, The Birmingham Tattoo to name a few, plus, led the Rugby detachment as Guard Commander to come 2nd in the National Drill and Piping Competition.

None of this we ever dreamed was possible for her before joining the cadets given her battles with Autism. 

To mark the connection between my uncle and daughter at his funeral, she was asked by the family to walk the hearse carrying my Uncle Buster into the crematorium. She did so with pride and saluted every attendee out of the crematorium as they left, and with one final salute to the coffin (with Uncle Busters Sea Cadet photo in pride of place above the coffin), she was the last to leave. So now over 60 years on from my uncle's triumph in the Royal Albert Hall for the Sea Cadets, she says goodbye and continues on his legacy. 

Thank you to Sea Cadets for giving them both these opportunities. Especially Kaitlyn who's life has been totally turned around. 

She wants to join the forces when she has gained her degree and she is 100% dedicated to cadets in the meantime.


- Lisa, A very proud Niece and Mum. 


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