Cadet hoping to jet off on African adventure

Longbenton Air Cadet, Hardit Parmar.
Longbenton Air Cadet, Hardit Parmar.

A teenage air cadet is still flying high as he attempts to secure a place jetting off to Africa later this year.

Longbenton Air Cadet Hardit Parmar is aiming to be the best cadet in the country during a summer challenge.

Last year the 19-year-old, who attends St Mary’s Catholic School in Benton, gained his flying wings after successfully completing a flying scholarship at Tayside Aviation.

Now he has the chance to go on a three week education and adventure expedition in South Africa after being nominated by his squadron for the CVQO Duke of Westminster Award, which aims to find the very best of the BTEC cadets in the UK.

Following an initial nomination process, 21 young people from across the cadet forces – sea, army and air – have been chosen to compete in a challenging four day selection outdoor adventure event in Somerset.

The final nine will attend a ceremony in London in June to be presented with their ILM certificates and discover who will be named CVQO Duke of Westminster Award Winner 2014, before departing for South Africa.

Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “Hardit is a smart, polite young man who has worked hard over the past five years to achieve what he has.

“He is an excellent role model and we all support him as he prepares for the selection interview.”

Hardit is also up for the Dacre Sword which is presented to the Top Male Air Cadet in the UK.

He has been recognised as the Top Male in Durham and Northumberland Wing and is now competing with another five males to be recognised as the Top Male Air Cadet in the North of England.

If successful, he will then compete against six males from around the UK to be crowned as the Top Male Air Cadet in the UK.

Hardit said: “It’s unbelievable really. I just get on with things and try my best in everything and try to do as much as I can too.

“I enjoy being in the Air Cadets as we get so many opportunities and two days after being announced as the Top Male Air Cadet in the Wing I found out that I’d made it to the CVQO Selection Centre.”

Hardit will find out in April if he has been successful in both competitions.

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