Air cadets flying high at annual awards

Cadet Calum Hartwell, Corporal Josh Gribbin, Corporal Becky Tulip, CWO Steven Brown, Sgt Sarah Cudworth, Flt Lt Dan Laidler, Cadet Becky Cudworth, Flt Sgt Richard Baker, Sgt Liam McConville.
Cadet Calum Hartwell, Corporal Josh Gribbin, Corporal Becky Tulip, CWO Steven Brown, Sgt Sarah Cudworth, Flt Lt Dan Laidler, Cadet Becky Cudworth, Flt Sgt Richard Baker, Sgt Liam McConville.

Air cadets are celebrating after winning a raft of awards for successes achieved in the past 12 months.

Cadets from 346 (Tynemouth) Squadron ATC picked up honours for categories from best marksmanship to dedication to community service at the group’s annual Sabena presentations.

Now in their 59th year, the Sabena Awards recognise the hard work and dedication of the 346 team.

The teenagers and their parents were joined at the ceremony held at Christ Church C of E Primary in North Shields, by MP Alan Campbell, who presented the awards, which this year included three new trophies for best non-commissioned officer, dedication to community service and highest master air cadet exam results.

Top honour of the Sabena Cadet of the Year was won by Calum Hartwell, who has been with 346 for the past 16 months.

The accolade is given to the cadet deemed to have consistently demonstrated outstanding commitment and achievement across all areas of training and community involvement.

The 14-year-old Marden High School pupil, who hopes to one-day become a pilot, said: “I’m overjoyed I got the prestigious award. I really enjoy being in the air cadets and my life with 346 pretty much revolves around the band.

“I play the bugle, trumpet and drums and the cadets’ has given me a fantastic opportunity to develop my musical skills. Since I joined I have also become a lot more confident - confidence in leadership being the main one – and learnt a lot of skills. It’s been a fantastic opportunity.”

The squadron’s commanding office, Flight Lieutenant Dan Laidler, said: “While all our youngsters have exceptional qualities that ensure we have a well-rounded team, in the end it was Cadet Hartwell’s hard work, commitment, team spirit and willingness to go that extra mile that swung it for him.

“It reflects his excellent contribution to the Air Training Corps in Tynemouth and he can be justifiably proud.”

Other trophies presented at the ceremony were: Best First Class Cadet: Cadet Ethan Lloyd, 14, Best Leading Cadet: Cpl Elliott Rogers, 16, Best Senior Cadet: Cpl Josh Gribbin, 16, Best Marksmanship: Flt Sgt Richard Baker, 16, Best Bandsman: Cadet Becky Cudworth, 13, Best Sportsperson: CWO Steven Brown, 19, Squadron Leader Kennedy MBE Cup for Best Non-commissioned Officer: Sgt Liam McConville, 15, Best Dedication to Community Service: Cpl Becky Tulip, 15, Best Flight: Number 1 Flight commanded by Sgt Liam McConville, and Wing Commander Knowles Shield for Master Air Cadet Exam: Sgt Sarah Cudworth, 16.