A team of nine Nuneaton based cadets have recently managed to pull off an unbelievably outstanding performance at the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing Swimming Championships.
The nine cadets who were representing 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron must have been one of the smallest teams at the Warwickshire and Birmingham championships and they must have felt as if they had no chance of any success when they were faced by much larger teams from other units.
But the Nuneaton nine, determined to do their best just kept winning medals. Cadet Matthew Waudby took the Gold in the junior boys freestyle and then went on to win a silver medal in the breaststroke. Then when the junior boys relay team, Cadets Samuel Baynes, Cameron Bennett, Adam Harris and Matthew Waudby took to the pool they clocked up another silver with a truly outstanding performance.
Cadet Sergeant Sarah Painter who was the only girl representing 121 Squadron, put on a sterling performance in both the freestyle and the breaststroke, battling not only the opposition but also difficulties with her health to reach the final in one of her heats.
The senior boys team of Cadets Daniel Game, Michael Griffiths and Corporal Matthew Carrington also did the Nuneaton squadron proud when they managed to get through the heats and into the finals. Then with only moments to spare another of 121 Squadrons senior boys Flight Sergeant Michael Hadley flew in to make up the numbers so that the lads could compete in the senior boys relay. When I say, flew in, it was quite literally that, Flight Sergeant Hadley had just arrived at the last moment, still wearing his flying suit after a day at RAF Cosford where he serves as a staff cadet with 633 Volunteer Gliding Squadron. Unfortunately, despite every effort from the senior boys they were unable to add to the squadrons medal tally.
With an impressive total of 1 Gold, and 2 Silver medals between them, the four junior boys team members from 121 Squadron eventually took 2nd place in the junior boys overall championship.
Flt Lt Paul Hincks Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron, who accompanied team said, “I was delighted with our team’s performance. We only had nine cadets in total and to end up coming 2nd in the junior boys championship with a junior team of only four cadets is just unbelievable. I would also like to thank Sasha Dowdall for organising the team and cadet Amy Bloxham and members of the Squadrons Civilian Committee who provided some extremely enthusiastic support for the team.
Every single one of our swimmers did their absolute best and that’s what sport in the Air Cadets is all about and we can’t ask more that that, but I must single out two of the team for special credit and they are Cadet Matthew Waudby who came away with 3 medals and was selected to represent the Wing at the Regional championships and Cadet Sergeant Sarah Painter who courageously overcame difficulties with her health to get into the finals as the sole female to represent her Squadron.
Hopefully the achievements of our small team of nine cadets this year will serve to encourage more of our cadets, both boys and especially girls to take part next year. Who knows, perhaps we could achieve even better results with a larger team.”