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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


15 February 2016

Royal School Armagh pupil Gareth Hampton has been handed one of the top honours for Sea cadets, after he received notification that he has been instated as the Navy Board Cadet for the Northern Area for 2016.

Gareth was one of only six sea cadets appointed by the Royal Navy and the Armagh pupil has been tasked with looking after the “Northern Area”, which covers Northern Ireland, Scotland and North East England.

Gareth’s role will involve liaising with the Royal Navy on all cadet matters and it is a tremendous honour to be chosen out of almost 14,000 Sea cadets across the United Kingdom.

In a letter from First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, Gareth, who is also the Newry and Armagh youth representative in the Youth Parliament, paid tribute to the Royal School pupil:

“Gareth has displayed the highest qualities of enthusiasm, bearing, dress, qualifications, proficiencies and overall standards.

“In particular, Gareth has demonstrated the leadership and professionalism required to represent the Sea Cadets as an ambassador for the Navy Board and Royal Navy.”

Not only will Gareth liaise with the Royal Navy on all matters involving Sea Cadets, he will also get the opportunity to attend some important and prestigious events.

His duties will include the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Battle of Jutland Centenary, the opening of HMS Caroline in Belfast and various ship visits and presentations and receptions.

Speaking after receiving the word of this fantastic honour, Gareth admitted he is looking forward to getting started:

“I am very much looking forward to my year as the Navy Board Cadet and I am very proud and privileged to represent not only Armagh and Northern Ireland but the whole of the Northern Area.”

Gareth’s first formal engagement will be later on this month when he travels to Plymouth to join Rear Admiral John Clink OBE on the HMS Bulwark.

Gareth has been a Sea Cadet for six years and during his time as a cadet he has participated in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames in 2012.  

He has also represented Northern Ireland as a coxswain for the open boys’ rowing for the past four years and he has won a bronze medal in that particular discipline.

Gareth has participated as part of the Armed Guard for the National Trafalgar Day Parade in London and through his adventures with the Sea Cadets, he has sailed on all the Sea cadet vessels and is the current holder of the Martin Henwood Memorial Trophy - a special award for demonstrating the best Sea Cadets’ qualities whilst on board TS Royalist during the year.