An Action-Packed Term for our CCF
With no Biennial Inspection to prepare for this year, the CCF contingent has been no less busy.
Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy Competition
The term started with the Pringle team out training at weekends, and during the week in preparation for the annual military skills competition, the Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy. Under the supervision of Capt Pete Bellfield RMR and Contingent Commander Maj Steve King RMR, the team would test their metal against 20 other schools from around the UK.
This year’s event was a decidedly more physical one; day one comprised a number of military stances at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone and on Woodbury Common, that included a stretcher race, the assault course, marksmanship and first aid. On day two, the team started with the infamous Royal Marines Endurance Course, and despite being slowed down when caught behind another school, they shattered the King’s record and came in at 19 minutes 27 seconds.
Often decided by very fine margins, this year King’s were the clear winners, clocking up a huge 45-point lead on their nearest rivals, Winchester College. As well as taking the Endurance Course title, the team won the Map Reading, Observation, Modern Urban Combat and Camouflage and Concealment trophies. It is worth noting that in the last ten years, King’s have now won the trophy an incredible SIX times and have been runners-up on two occasions.
Field Day for the whole contingent (the Pringle Team were allowed a well-earned rest!) followed straight after, with the Royal Marines and Army Sections heading to Yoxter, near Cheddar, to practise their field craft skills. Our Third Form ‘Chindits’ visited Cobbs Cross Farm on the edge of the Quantocks to undertake a high ropes course and raft building challenges, and our Royal Navy cadets headed to HMS Raleigh for an overnight sailing exercise.
A number of our Royal Navy cadets also spent some time on the water during the October half term holiday. Kasper L and Ed S obtained both their RYA essential navigation (theory) and helmsman (practical) qualifications, while Freya J obtained her RYA day skipper power qualification on what was only her second trip.
CCF is a popular Monday afternoon activity, with approximately 220 cadets across all three sections.
While the majority of activities the cadets undertake have a military theme, this is a vehicle to promote the values of perseverance, self-reliance, robustness, teamwork and ultimately, leadership. Cadets learn a great number of skills that prepare them for life beyond King’s College. As the old adage goes ‘You only get back what you put in’ and our cadets often prove themselves as dedicated and hardworking, looking for opportunities outside their Monday afternoons.
A number of pupils successfully gain qualifications and take up posts of significance and importance throughout their time in the CCF. Over a number of years, King’s has seen cadets take up the position of Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet – often nominated for their contribution to the CCF, and their involvement as competent instructors and mentors to our junior cadets.
Further opportunities are available by way of subsidised adventure training courses, that include rock climbing, sailing, and mountain biking, among other activities.
Next term sees the start of months of training for the annual Ten Tors Challenge, as cadets prepare to take on the respective distances of 35, 45 and 55 miles across Dartmoor. We wish those selected every success, and look forward to charting their progress as they develop in self-discipline, motivation, commitment and resilience.
The Royal Marines and Army Sections will travel to Copehill Down in 2020, an MOD training facility near Chitterne on Salisbury Plain, where, for the first time, they will learn about operating in a built-up environment.
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