Cadets complete 100km lockdown challenge

Photo of the sign outside the base of the Stoke Gifford detachment.
Base of the Stoke Gifford detachment of the Army Cadet Force in Ratcliffe Drive.

The Stoke Gifford detachment of Bristol Army Cadet Force (ACF) has kept busy, taking part in numerous virtual activities, writes Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI) Paul Clark.

Obviously, the last few months have been testing times for everyone, with the current Covid-19 situation. This has had a huge impact on Cadet training and activities within the ACF, with all face-to-face training and activities having to be cancelled or suspended for the foreseeable future.

The Bristol ACF has tried to carry on training and organise events virtually using Zoom videoconferencing or ‘virtual parade nights’ to carry on with training and testing wherever possible, enabling the Cadets to still participate and achieve numerous subject passes for their relevant Star levels. This gives the Cadets the best opportunity to still progress in their Army Cadet career.

100km Challenge

The biggest virtual event the Cadets and adults from the detachment participated in was the Royal Corps of Signals #100for100 Challenge. This event was organised by the Royal Corps of Signals as part of the celebration of the Royal Signals centenary on 28th June 2020. The aim of the event was for individuals or groups to run, walk or cycle 100km before 28th June.

Photo of a Cadet on the #100for100 Challenge.
A Cadet on the #100for100 Challenge.

As a Royal Signals detachment, we decided to enter into the challenge, with several Cadets and adults taking part. It was down to the Cadets to decide how they wanted to do the challenge, also recording their individual distances and sending evidence to the detachment Commander for verification.

Participants in the challenge were (Cadets) Cpl Sophie Reynolds, L/Cpl Jack Porter, Cdts Evan Downes, Rhianna Cooper, Kaden Lacey and Jack Murray, and adults Staff Sergeant Paul Clark and Sergeant Chrissie Clark. All the Cadets and adults mentioned put in as many kms as they could walking, running or cycling to add to our detachment goal of 100km. The 100km goal was achieved in less than a week with the detachment as a whole clocking up a total of 182 kms, an amazing achievement.

Photo of an instructor on the #100for100 Challenge.
An instructor on the #100for100 Challenge.

The Star of the #100for100 Challenge was undoubtedly Cpl Sophie Reynolds who managed to walk 60kms in a week, so a huge ‘well done’ must go to her, for her determination and willingness to put in such an impressive effort.

Promotions

Congratulations to our very own Lord Lieutenant Cadet Antonia Gurr on her promotion from Cadet Staff Sergeant to Cadet Sergeant Major, a very well-deserved promotion.

Other promotions are: Cpl Lewis Massey to Sgt and now onto a career in the Army – well done to him. L/Cpl Jack Porter to Cpl. And from Cadet to L/Cpl Evan Downes.

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Looking forward

Unfortunately, we have no definite date as to when the detachment will return to normal parade nights, although November is looking the more likely. We are governed by what the MoD and the government deem to be a safe time to return. Up until then, the detachment will continue to attend the virtual detachment parade nights, with Bristol ACF continuing to find other ways to enhance the Cadet experience in a practical and safe manner.

If you’re interested in joining the Stoke Gifford detachment and are between the ages of 12 – 18yrs and in Year 8 or above at school, contact SSI Clark on 07825 326488.

This article originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 16). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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