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Mark My Mighty Marathon

Amazing Mighty Marathoner Mark's story

3 weeks in and I have doubled the marathon distance plus some, crossing the 54miles mark in the Gym today!  I've also passed my personal fundraising target which was £10 per mile (£260) this week!! (Support Mark on his JustGiving page!)

Why did I decide to take on the challenge?  I have been conscious for a while now that I was putting on more and more weight and needing to get more active, In my day job I work 12hour shifts in Ambulance control and often getting in late in the evening (or Morning) dinner would be whatever was convenient, as opposed to healthy, and more often than no it would be what was delivered! As the District training Officer for London Western District I have regular interactions with almost 400 Cadets plus volunteers and I realised that it was time to start setting more of an example to them and to my own 4 year old son!

I started the Mighty Marathon Challenge on New Year’s Day, weighing in at 143.7kg/22st 9lb and 146cm around the middle, so far this month I have lost 6cm around the waist and have lost almost a stone and a half! Day one saw me taking my son for a walk to (and around) the park clocking up my first mile felt amazing!  I have built on this by visiting the Gym almost every day this month using a combination of static cycles and treadmill. I have also been using my 20 minute breaks at work to walk a mile at a time around the Waterloo area both in the middle of the day and during the night, Central London is surprisingly quiet at 4am. 

I haven't been alone in undertaking the challenge and have been supported by family, colleagues and friends as well as other volunteers: Cathal Hegarty from Richmond unit and Jessica Burton from Tooting unit, as group we all completed 26miles early into the challenge so set ourselves the goal to double it and today that happened (captured in the pic!) Thank you to all that have motivated, supported, donated and cheered me on I could not have done this without them.

“When you are tired, hurting, out of breath and struggling, dig deep find the courage and self-discipline to power through and little by little things get easier- and remember to stay hydrated!”

The My Mighty Marathon challenge ends in 2 days! Give them a boost and show support on JustGiving

qualifications for teenagers sailing duke of Edinburgh outdoors

Start your Story in 2020

As we start the new year, you may be wondering what new horizons 2020 has is in store for you...

Why not have a think about some qualifications you could gain with the Sea Cadets? As well as many different boating qualifications, for example, the Royal Yachting Association and the British Canoeing Union. There are lots of personal development courses you can undertake too, all of which are great fun to be involved with, and will look amazing on your CV. The below list will give you a quick insight into the range of courses you can do and what they are about:

Open Award Level 1, Exploring Maritime Skills. This course gives you a chance to develop a broad experience in vessel navigation, food preparation, mooring, vessel stability and vessel construction.

Institute of Leadership Management Level 2, Award in Effective Team Member Skills. This is a course that will help you understand what a team is, how it develops, the importance of communication and how to manage conflict within a team. (This course is open to those age 14+)

Institute of Leadership Management Level 3, Award in Leadership and Management. If you go on this course, you will study topics including problem-solving, decision making, presentation skills, leadership and team motivation. (This course is open to those age 16-18)

Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Achieving a Duke of Edinburgh award gives you a chance to develop new skills by planning, training for and completing expeditions, working as a team, helping the community/environment and meet new people.

BTEC Level 1, Teamwork and Personal Skills in the Community. Use this course to build your volunteering, map, compass and music skills. The course will cover self-reliance in a fieldcraft environment and how to prepare for expeditions. (This course is open to those age 13-15)

BTEC Level 2, Teamwork and Personal Skills in the Community. This course will give you a chance to partake in adventurous activities, have a go at career planning, explore teamwork and communication skills and further improve your map and compass skills. (This course is open to those age 16-18)

If you’re with Sea Cadets already, or thinking about joining, there are over 600 qualifications you can choose from.

Speak to your C/O for info about doing a course. Or click here to join a unit near you and start your story

Author - Flora Stewart-Sandeman, Head of Sea Cadet Learning Development.

Sea Cadets recognised in New Year's Honours List

Sea Cadets recognised in New Year's Honours List

Marine Society and Sea Cadets were well represented in the New Year’s Honours List.

MSSC Trustee John May DL (pictured) becomes an OBE for services to young people, while former trustee and current MSSC Vice-President Patrick Stewart MBE receives a CVO for his work as Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute.

The recognition of Sea Cadet volunteers across the country remains one of the highlights of the Honours List.

While three volunteers have become recipients of British Empire Medals (BEM), Janice Spicer was made an MBE for her fund-raising efforts to many charities in her native Hull, including Sea Cadets.

Mrs Spicer, 65 and from Hull, joined as a teenager when girls were first admitted in the late 1960s.

After coming back the following week, Janice remained for a near-continuous 50 years period. “My dad wasn’t sure. He huffed that it would be another “week-long wonder” but I knew different,” she said.

21 members of Janice’s family are now Sea Cadets and despite severe illness in her family, she remains as committed to the Sea Cadet cause as ever.

“I had good role models in a nan who brought up kids on their own and my mum’s sister who would take everyone from their street on train for a day’s holiday. If I’m as good an Aunty as our Aunty Madge. I’m doing all right. Sea Cadets in a way are my family and this is for them as much as anyone else.”

Emma Walton BEM from Grimsby has been honoured for community and voluntary service in helping her local Sea Cadets,

Since getting involved within Sea Cadets in 2015, Emma has helped recruit a new set of trustees, refurbish and sign a 99 year lease on their building near the Royal Dock, launch a major recruitment drive for both cadets and volunteers, develop partnerships with local businesses and charities as well as raise over £70,000 within four years to secure the future of Grimsby and Cleethorpes Sea Cadets.

All of this, in spite of being a mother of three which was added to by the arrival of Emma and her husband’s fourth child three years ago. She is also chair of Lincolnshire District Sea Cadets and helps to train new chairs across the East of England.

“I do it because I enjoy it. I’ve made so many friends and when my eldest daughter joined, I started helping out tidying up the unit. “I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for, when I became Chair.”

Lieutenant Commander George Wilson, London Region HQSO as well as Chief Petty Officer Stefen Wells from Shirley also received BEMs for sterling work in their communities.

Sea Cadets' 2019 Prize Winners

Sea Cadets' 2019 Prize Winners

Sea Cadets' 2019 awards have been released!

The awards are for the units, cadets and volunteers who have performed admirably throughout 2019. There are lots of winners across the Corps, but highlights include:

Salisbury (pictured) unit took home The Canada Trophy, awarded to Sea Cadets unit which is considered to have attained the very highest standard of all-round efficiency in the previous year. Each volunteer and cadet at Salisbury will receive a medallion to commemorate the event and cadets will also receive a red or gold maple leaf and a year badge, which are to be sewn on to their uniform. Salisbury have excelled at boating in the last year, averaging 145 hours of boating per cadet and all their cadets received at least one boating qualification!

Scarborough won the Thomas Grey Memorial Trophy, in their centenary year. With around 100 cadets and 40 volunteers, the numbers illustrate how popular this unit is within the remote community. Scarborough Cadets lead from the front at the Duke of Edinburgh award events, and always do well at promotion boards, plus many of them achieved CVQO BTEC qualifications this year.

The Commander Brown Trophy was handed to POC Daniel from Weymouth, for outstanding achievement, excelling at Sea Cadets, gaining multiple qualifications over the year and conquering his DofE. POC Daniel works hard at Sea Cadets to ensure he picks up qualifications, already having DofE Bronze and Silver awards and is working towards his Gold. He also holds British Rowing Supervised Coxswain, Basic Navigation, RYA Watchleader (Power-24m TS John Jerwood/TS Jack Petchey) Meteorology Proficiency, Basic Piping and Intermediate Seamanship, Advanced Stewarding, and Basic CIS.

Captain Rodie Casement Sword was awarded to Lt (SCC) William Elliott RNR from Milford Haven Unit. William embraces and embodies the Core Values and his drive to inspire these in his cadets is infectious. His commitment to the Corps is tireless endless, attending the unit despite other calls on his time.

Sea Cadets on board HMS Prince of Wales

Sea Cadets on board HMS Prince of Wales

Sea Cadets played a full part in welcoming the Royal Navy’s largest warship to the Fleet in Portsmouth.

As part of 2,000 invited guests and in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as Lady Sponsor, the cadets helped support the commissioning of HMS Prince of Wales in a rousing ceremony in Portsmouth.

Commanding Officer, Captain Darren Houston, read the commissioning warrant to the ship’s company and guests gathered in the hangar, with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin as well as Marine Society and Sea Cadets President Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE DL and CEO Martin Coles.

The First Sea Lord’s Sea Cadets plus members of Greenwich Sea Cadets were in attendance to give the invited guests a glimpse of the long-standing relationship between the Royal Navy and Sea Cadets.

The First Sea Lord’s Sea Cadets aged 16 to 17, are picked, from each area to represent the Sea Cadets at many different events.  They also play a crucial role in shaping the future of Sea Cadets as the voice of the cadets.

The cadets act as escort to Navy Board members or other senior Royal Navy officers at appropriate functions such as formal parades, ship visits and presentations.

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