Bourne cadets thrilled after being crowned best unit in Lincolnshire
Brilliant Bourne Army Cadets are well and truly on the march after being crowned the best unit in Lincolnshire for the first time.
The 40-strong squad of youngsters is riding high after winning the force’s prestigious Lucas Tooth award - handed out to the best detachment in the county.
Jubilant Sergeant Instructor Laura Cooper, the unit’s commander, said: “We are absolutely thrilled.
“We’ve been trying to get our hands on this trophy for years - and now we’ve finally won it.
“It’s incredible to beat more than 30 detachments of army cadets throughout the county - there’s been a lot of friendly rivalry.”
She added: “The kids have been fantastic - they have really earned their stripes!”
Laura said her cadets, aged from 12-18, had performed to their limits all year round to be crowned county champions.
“The result is based on how many of our cadets win their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
“They also work towards earning their Army Proficiency Certificate on different levels ranging from one to four stars,” she said.
“The kids have got to learn a whole range of army skills inside out.
“They are tested at drill, fieldcraft, shooting, skill at arms, navigation, expeditions, physical tests and military knowledge.
“We are also judged on the community work that we do.
“So we help to support local events such as Bourne Fun Day and Bourne Carnival as well as selling poppies to raise money for the Royal British Legion.”
SI Cooper said her crack junior soldiers had been kept on their toes all year round.
“This is a very big picture.
“We are assessed right across the board,” said Laura, whose team includes about 40% girls.
“We’re also judged on how many cadets we send off to training camps.
“Our kids have dominated county events and had huge pride in their own performance over the last 12 months.
“I’m so proud of just how well they have done and it’s great for Bourne.
“We have even got a new trophy cabinet to show off our new pride and joy!”
SI Cooper said her cadets have been tip top for the last two years after going close to bagging the Lucas Tooth in 2017.
“We came second last year so it’s brilliant to go one better and actually win it this time round,” said Laura.
“Now we want to win this again and do the double."