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Published on Thursday, 16th February 2017 in Town Centre news

Air Cadets of 218 Squadron attended a special presentation evening at Rotherham Town Hall held to celebrate becoming the best drill foot team in the country.

The Rotherham youngsters, who belong to the local air cadet squadron (218 Rotherham) beat 900 other countrywide squadrons, and were honoured at the special event hosted by the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Lyndsay Pitchley.

It is the first time the squadron has achieved this since its foundation some 60 years ago and has been the result of a vast amount of dedication and hard work throughout the year, winning both the South and West Yorkshire Wing and North Region stages before against five other teams at a national corps level at RAF Halton.

Cllr Pitchley said: “I’m delighted that so many young people are involved in cadet organisations here in Rotherham, making a positive contribution to society and taking part in some fantastic activities and - in this case - having achieved national recognition!

“And it would be unfair not to mention the massive efforts and dedication of the adult volunteers, who work tirelessly within the air cadet organisation helping the cadets develop and reach their potential.

The drill team has reached Corps level three times in the last four years, gaining higher accolades every time.

Group leaders say that the 218 Rotherham Squadron prides itself on having excellent drill standards, achieving no less than third position at Wing level every year without exception since its inception.

218 Rotherham, Drill Sergeant, Stuart Haywood who put the cadets through their paces to achieve this national award said: “I am thrilled at their success. The journey to RAF Halton was full of apprehension and the cadets, some of them as young as 13, were understandably nervous and excited. Just reaching the national competition is a massive achievement as only six squadrons out of over 900 reach this level.”

Describing the event Sergeant Haywood  went on to say: “Judges score the drill teams on their uniform inspection as well as Drill Instructor commands and the execution of the manoeuvres.

“It was a very tense wait for the results, and the team members were delighted when they were announced as overall winners of the competition.”

The squadron also achieved the best inspection scores and drill instructor, Cadet Warrant Officer Louis Webb, came joint second for his command and control of the squad.

Commanding Officer Flight Lieutenant Mick Green, who has been involved with the squadron for over 20 years, having previously been a cadet himself, said: “I never thought I would see the day when they actually became the best foot drill team in the whole of the United Kingdom. A very emotional day and something each cadet should be justly proud of.”

The young cadets attended the presentation evening held in their honour by the Mayor where they received certificates and badges from Cllr Pitchley at the Town Hall. The event took place on Thursday, 9 February, 7pm.

To view the winning drill sequence, watch on the link below.

To enquire about becoming a cadet in the RAF email the 218 Rotherham Squadron, or visit the RAF's website.

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