Cadets from across Thames Valley Wing assembled at Adventure Dolphin Pangbourne on Saturday 2nd April 2011 to take part in a multi activity training day; the first in the Wing to incorporate both climbing and canoeing.
Following an initial briefing, the cadets were split into two groups to tackle their activities – the first group tackling Adventure Dolphin’s indoor climbing wall – taking on 9 climbing challenging routes over the course of the morning. The purpose built, artificial climbing wall offered the cadets a variety of different routes – from quite straight forward routes, through to more demanding and taxing overhangs. Under the guidance of Flt Lt Chris Tocher, who recently completed his Climbing Wall Award, the cadets took it in turns to climb the variety of routes, whilst the rest of their team supported them – providing belaying, spotting for better handholds, or helping them plan their routes.
Whilst some cadets were learning the ropes in the centre, the other team were enjoying a different kind of adventure training activity – canoeing on the River Thames. After a safety briefing and warm up, the cadets took part in a 3 hour introduction to PaddleSport session under the supervision of Fg Off Alex Pye & FS Chris Harding. After successfully mastering the basic principles and techniques of moving their canoes in a mill pond, the cadets carried out a series of games to test their communication, coordination, balance and control skills – improving their confidence on the water, and their own abilities. The session was also tailored to deliver the British Canoe Union’s PaddleSport Start award – recognising the cadet’s achievements in developing their foundation knowledge of the sport.
After lunch, the teams both swapped activities, giving them a second adventurous experience in the day. A debrief after the event showed that all the cadets had a thoroughly enjoyable day – and all were keen to broaden their experiences of both sports!
Fg Off Pye said “The event was well attended from Squadrons across the Thames Valley and offered a brilliant opportunity for cadets from all backgrounds and experiences to take part in safe, but challenging activities; in doing so, building their confidence, self esteem but also having a great time in the process”.