It is not every weekend you get to row across the Atlantic in a charity fundraising event and then visit the Royal Navy’s newest Aircraft Carrier in Liverpool the following day, but a very lucky group of youngsters from Rushden Sea Cadets got to do just that last weekend.
In February at the Canoe2 Boathouse in Rushden Lakes shopping centre, the hardy group took part in the Sea Cadets Row3000 challenge – a gruelling virtual race across the Atlantic Ocean, competing against other Sea Cadet units up and down the country.
Using a pair of indoor rowing machines donated by the Pemberton Centre in Rushden, eight cadets each took turns at the oars, racking up a hugely impressive 97 miles, (156km), during a seven and a half non-stop race.
Throughout the day, they received motivational messages from BBC Radio Northampton, Beat Route Radio and Olympic legends – medal winning rowers Helen Glover and Peter Reed.
At the end of an exhausting day, despite being one of the smallest teams in the competition, they finished in a very impressive 14th place, out of a total of 46 teams.
And if that was not enough for one weekend, the following day they headed up to Liverpool to visit HMS Prince of Wales – the newest of the Royal Navy’s two 65,000 ton aircraft carriers.
The ship was open to the general public during her stay in Liverpool, but the cadets were given a special behind the scenes tour of the Ship, including a visit to the Ship’s Control Centre, (SCC), medical centre and a walk around the absolutely huge flight deck – something that most of the visitors did not get the opportunity to do.
Afterwards, they joined the rest of the crowds in the hangar, where they got to meet members of the ship’s crew and view a wide variety of display stands, showcasing what the Royal Navy is all about.
The Sea Cadets is a national charity which helps over 15,000 youngsters each year within the UK get a better start in life.
If you know a youngster aged between 10 and 18, who you would like to see get a head-start in life, why not visit their webpage to find out more about the amazing opportunities they offer at www.sea-cadets.org/rushden