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Junior Field Gunners compete in unique challenge

11 July 2017
Hot on the heels of the Seniors Challenge which took place on Saturday 3 June, HMS Collingwood hosted the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition on Friday 7 July.

This competition is very similar to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Field Gun, but is predominantly for youths aged 16-24, who have either only recently joined the Armed Forces or are studying at college.

This year in addition to the Armed Forces crews, teams competed from Fareham College, Chichester College, Sea Cadet units and University Technical Colleges (UTC) across the country.  

Building on The Team Works and emphasising the training theme, the teams came into the competition with little or no prior experience of Field Gun and only had one week to train, with the finals taking place on Friday in front of friends and family and personnel across the base.

We got our heads down for the final and came away with a trophy.

Sam Riches

With 18 crews taking part this year the audience were privileged to witness 3 finals; Plate 2 was won by Fareham College, Plate 1 saw the HMS Sultan team first over the finishing line and in a closely fought main final the home team Victory Squadron took the honours.

Student president and member of the Fareham College crew, Sam Riches said “We were all sort of nervous and we tried to keep our cool and stay on track.

“We got our heads down for the final and came away with a trophy.”

The VIP at the event was Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock OBE. 

Addressing the teams on completion of the event he said, “You have taken part in something pretty extraordinary this week.

“You have overcome the challenge of moving something the size of a small car. Remember what you have achieved because it is extraordinary.”

The Junior Leaders Challenge is the only competition open specifically for new recruits and youths, offering them a chance to work as a team and challenge themselves in a unique setting. 

It is hoped that the enthusiasm and professionalism on display by the teams will encourage them to take part in the main Royal Navy Field Gun Competition in future years

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