498 (Wishaw) Cadets Conquer Nijmegen

100 Miles, 4 Days! Each year in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 46,000 people descend on the town to complete the 'Vierdaagse International 4 day March'. This year, it was held from 22nd July through to the 25th July for the 99th time. Air Cadets from across the West Scotland Wing travelled across to Nijmegen in a bid to complete the gruelling 100 mile challenge and come home with the official Nijmegen completion medal. All of the cadets have been breaking in their marching boots since November last year. With nine months of preparation behind them they were ready to embark on their challenge, a challenge which would test their stamina and mental agility.

Making up part of the team this year from West Scotland Wing of the Air Training Corps were three local air cadets from 498 (Wishaw) Squadron based in Motherwell. Flight Sergeant Matthew Smith, Sgt Jennifer Gray and Cpl Callum Kerrigan had completed all the training marches and qualified for selection when they completed the Scottish 2 day march at Garelochhead Training camp in May. They were joined on the march by 7 fellow cadets and 2 members of adult staff from units across the west of Scotland.

Left To Right Cpl Callum Kerrigan , FS Matthew Smith , Sgt Jennifer Gray

On each day the marchers were up very early for breakfast and ready at 0330am for the 25 mile march ahead of them. For Matthew this was his first journey to Nijmegen for the march however Jennifer and Callum are no stranger to the event having both completed the march last year. FS Smith had this to say, "It was a painful experience, but when the crowds were cheering us on it made you feel like a celebrity." "It was well worth the effort and I would highly recommend it!"

Cpl Kerrigan expressed his immense pride with this statement, "To go back and complete the marches for a second time was incredible and no words will ever describe the feelings towards my time there." "The atmosphere was sensational and the comradery between participants from across the globe; military and civilian alike, is breath taking."

March Medel , Qualifier Medel

Nijmegen is by far one of the best activities you can do with cadets because you work closely with your friends and you train hard. This leads to other benefits such as improving your physical fitness and building on people's personalities.

The Cadet Centre, Paisley TAC, 65 Hawkhead Road, Paisley. PA1 3NE | Phone 0141 887 3111 | Fax 0141 887 9555