Sergeant Lenney and Cadet Slater were selected to represent the North Region at the Inter Regional Hockey Championships at RAF College Cranwell on the 16-17th November 2012
Cadet Sergeant Lenney picks up the story.
Cadet Slater and I did not expect to progress so far playing Hockey in the ATC . This is the first time that we have been selected for Cumbria and Lancashire Wing team and to top it I was selected to act as Captain which really surprised me but was a great privilege! After the Wing event, we were both selected for regional trials which we were more shocked about. We got to the trials and we were so nervous, but after working hard and showing both our leadership and communication skills, we were both selected for the regional team. Cadet Slater and I were both excited and nervous, but we couldn’t wait to meet the whole team and play at RAFC Cranwell.
This is the first time that Cadet Slater and I have been to RAFC Cranwell and we were nervous about what to expect. We had a two hour journey from Preston to York in a cramped and noisy train, which wasn’t even half the journey! We were greeted by a member of staff and some of the regional team members on our arrival at York. We had a 3 hour coach journey from York to Cranwell which was once again noisy and tiring. We arrived late at RAFC Cranwell and were directed to our accommodation, which are not the billets we are used to. We had our own private rooms with a sink, wardrobe and even a radio! However, there is always a catch! We were not allowed to sleep inside the bed, but on top of the bed with our sleeping bags. After unpacking, we talked to our team members and went straight to sleep, excited for what the next day was going to bring.
We had a loud alarm call at 6am on a Saturday, the horror! We got up and started to get ready for the long day ahead. After a nice hot shower, we packed our suitcases and tidied the rooms ready for the room inspection. The day started at 7.15am with an icy march to the Mess. We had a full English breakfast and I had to force Cadet Slater to eat some food as she was so nervous. After breakfast, we got our suitcases, put them on the coach and travelled to the pitch.
The team did the best that they could but, due to some injuries, we lost our confidence in some of the games. Whilst waiting to play, I decided to scare people by jumping out of the goalie bag when they least expected it, they all jumped out of their skin, including Slater! The day was long and tiring; North Region won 2 games and lost 3. We came 5th overall and Slater got injured once again – no surprise there! After we finished, we had a presentation for the region and we were awarded our regional blues. After the presentation, we got the coach and headed home. It was a shame to leave such a lovely and beautiful place, but I was excited to get home!
We got to York train station at 6pm and had to wait two hours for our train! As it was so cold, we decided that the best option was to spend the time eating KFC. When the train finally arrived we got our sleeping bags out and had a well-earned nap on our long journey home.
It was a wonderful experience that neither of us will forget. We met some lovely people and seeing the RAF College makes me and Cadet Slater more motivated to achieve our dreams of joining the RAF. I am excited to be coaching the Junior Wing hockey team next year and Cadet Slater hopefully to be competing for Wing and Region once again for the junior side!
A big well done to everyone who represented the Cumbria and Lancashire Wing Team as well as the North Region team.