The cookie settings on this website are set to ‘allow all cookies’. Leaving your settings to ‘allow all cookies’ means you consent to a website remembering your preferences and generally enhancing the user experience. If you prefer a website to not remember your preferences, you can change your settings at any time by changing the privacy settings of your browser.

Find out more about cookies >

Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



04 June 2015

As pre-Summer exam fever sweeps through schools and colleges, teenagers from Army Cadet Force detachments across Northern Ireland have been tackling a rather different sort of test.  They have just taken part in a forty hour challenge which stretched them physically and mentally.

Tough as the Northern Ireland Army Cadet Force Military Skills Competition may have been, it also proved to be a valuable stress-buster for pressurized teenagers, as Colonel David McCleery OBE, Colonel Cadets (NI) explains.  He says, “Learning to cope with challenge and pressure is all part of growing up, but it seems that too many young people can be overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. They feel they have to excel at school, look great, have a perfect physique, be popular and have the latest thing in fashion and technology, while in reality they just have to learn to be themselves!  The Army Cadet Force has always helped young people to gain confidence as well as skills, building friendships as they develop their talents. This annual competition shows the benefits of that philosophy in action.

“The teams all threw themselves into the Magilligan challenge with good humour and energy, enjoying the total break from routine.  They were more than happy to get muddy, wet and tired as they battled to win honours in this annual competition.  Their team spirit was superb and they really worked together, encouraging one another and having great fun. I know they will have returned to school and college refreshed, recharged and energized, after a healthful and fulfilling weekend.”

The winning teams were:

First Aid Trophy: Winners – 1st (NI) Battalion, A Company Team 2
Runners up – 1st (NI) Battalion, B Company

March Shield: Winners – 2nd (NI) Battalion, Ballygowan Detachment
Runners up – 2nd (NI) Battalion, Down High Detachment

Shoot Shield: Winners – 2nd (NI) Battalion, Banbridge Detachment
Runners up – 1st (NI) Battalion, A Company Team 2

Calcutta Cup: Winners – 2nd (NI) Battalion, G Company
Runners up – 2nd (NI) Battalion, Ballygowan Detachment

Section Commander: Winner – CSM Donnelly, Ballygowan Detachment
Runner up – Corporal Orr, Banbridge Detachment

Congratulations to all those teams who took part.

Pictured above, celebrating their latest wins, from Ballygowan Detachment are, back row, from left, Cadet Lance Sergeant Richard McCormick (17, from Crossgar), Cadet Sergeant Nathan Feely (18,from Carryduff), Cadet Lance Sergeant Chris Brown (16, from Ballynahinch) and Cadet Sergeant Joseph Armstrong (17, from Saintfield) and, front, from left, Cadet Sergeant David Spratt (16, from Ballygowan), Cadet Sergeant Major Scott Donnelly (18, from Carryduff), Cadet Lance Corporal Alex Lane (14, from Ballygowan) and Cadet Lance Corporal Vicky Atkinson (16, from Ballygowan).

Pictured below, the winners of the First Aid Shield, from Omagh Army Cadet Force Detachment.  Back row, from left, Cadet Corporal Philip Clarke (Newtownstewart), Cadet Lance Corporal Harry Clements (Newtownstewart), Cadet Josh Monteith (Omagh), Cadet Corporal Matthew Fenwick (Omagh) and Cadet Lance Corporal Matthew Kelly (Garvary) and, front row, from left, Cadet Corporal Reece Hamilton  (Omagh), Cadet Sergeant Ben Henderson (Omagh) and Cadet Corporal Philip Richardson (Newtownstewart).

Pictured below, from B Company, runners up in the First Aid Shield: back row, from left, Cadet Corporal Ryan Hargy (Ballymoney), Cadet Sergeant David Caldwell (Coleraine), Cadet Sergeant Lewis Orr (Ballymoney), Cadet Sergeant Sean McDaid (Coleraine) and Cadet Corporal Thomas Morgan (Eglinton) and, front row, from left, Cadet Corporal Amy McKinley (Eglinton), Cadet Corporal Rachael McIlwaine (Drumahoe) and Cadet Sergeant Charollet Morgan (Eglinton).