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Frome College Cadets put through their paces at HMS Collingwood

24 November 2021
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Staff from the Royal Naval Leadership Academy based at HMS Collingwood welcomed a group from Frome College.

The students, all from years 9 and 10, were enjoying a “taster session” designed to introduce them to some of the opportunities available in the Combined Cadet Force.

The college had introduced the scheme in October 2019 and it had grown into a successful venture. Unfortunately, activities then had to be curtailed due to the pandemic and, with cadets graduating from the college, the program has had to be restarted.

However, the take-up for this first session at HMS Collingwood was encouraging and 13 students enjoyed learning new skills both on the low-ropes course and, later, through a unique hands-on insight into the traditional Naval Field Gun competition.

In the morning, they tackled the low ropes course, a discipline that teaches and promotes teamwork as the obstacles can only be traversed successfully when cadets work together.

Later, they were introduced to the base’s cadets’ field gun, and trained in the discipline which involves running with the gun, before disassembling and reassembling both it and its limber. 

Once again, this tests the cadets’ ability to work as a team as each member has their own responsibilities and needs to work to his or her unique strengths to ensure the fastest run time.

Although, of course, this initial session was conducted at a much slower pace, the cadets soon began to show leadership, determination and teamwork to achieve a smooth final run.

Jake Birch said, “I’m really enjoying this! This is a useful session as I need to choose between cadets and rugby when I return to school.”

Ana Layland also enjoyed the visit. She said, “This sounded like a great opportunity to learn more about the cadets and now I’m quite interested in being a field gunner! It’s good because lifting the individual components of the gun on your own is tough but much easier when you work together.”

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