After consideration, inspection, deliberation and an eventual decision, the nominations for the Central and East Region’s representatives in this years prestigious Lees and Morris Trophies has been announced.
The squadron with less that 46 cadets considered the Region’s best and therefore going forward to compete Nationally for the Lees Trophy will be 1084 (Market Harborough) squadron from South and East Midlands Wing.
In the competition the Morris Trophy for the Corps best squadron with more than 46 cadets will be 119 (Scunthorpe) Squadron from Trent Wing.
The Region’s Commandant, Group Captain Nigel Gorman and his team had the task of deciding the outcome of this round of extremely stiff competition, he said; “The units keep getting better and better, and so the quality bar is pushed yet higher and higher. And what a conundrum we have faced in coming to a decision as to which units should go through from Central & East to the National final. The trouble is…each of the units we have assessed has been different, it is true, but they have also had one common, defining feature. They are all top-end, high-performing, quality-focused units, each doing a really smashing job of delivering a super cadet experience. And none of that comes from six months or a year of hard graft. No, the gestation period to this point is much longer than that and as I was at pains to point out when visiting those in the mix, it is clear that conditioning for success is no fly-by-night undertaking. It takes putting a shoulder to the wheel into endurance event territory.
Officer Commanding the Market Harborough Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Adam “Griff” Griffin registered his feeling on the news that his squadron had been nominated;
“When I heard that South &East Midlands Wing had nominated 1084 as their chosen Squadron for the Lee’s trophy, I was somewhat surprised. By this time, I had been in post for little over 12 months – and therefore felt somewhat up against the clock.
Having discussed the nomination with my staff team, and the cadets – it was clear that they were ‘game’ for the challenge, where all rallied to ensure we were as prepared as possible.
During the inspection, the Regional Commandant and inspecting team were very engaging with the cadets, and keen to see what made us different. Aside from our approach to data providing real insight into the cadet training, and Squadron improvements – the real asset has been our engagement with the community, particularly for investment. These investments have been largely secured by engaging with the community – which have gone to fund a VR flight sim, air rifle range and a new IT suite, which includes updated training facilities. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
On hearing we had been successful, the cadets were especially enthused – most probably because they were promised a BBQ if indeed we became the Region representatives!
Whilst we don’t have the most ‘polished’ of Squadron huts, our mandate is clear – every opportunity for every cadet”.
Flight Lieutenant James Todd, Officer Commanding 119 (Scunthorpe) Squadron said;
“”I am extremely honoured, overwhelmed and humbled with the selection of 119 Scunthorpe Squadron to represent Central and East Region in the Morris Trophy competition. The standard of Wing nominations as always has been very high and indeed is a showcase and testament to the efforts made by all the Wing nominated Squadrons. We are now looking forward in the process with excitement at the next level of competition and hope to return the Trophy to our Region”
In the very tight competitions those squadrons who were so narrowly pipped at the post were;
· 163 (Coventry Phoenix) Squadron, Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing
· 1101 (Kettering) Squadron, South & East Midlands Wing
· 301 (Bury St Edmunds) Squadron, Norfolk & Suffolk Wing
· 1368 (Warwick & Royal Leamington Spa) Squadron, Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing
It is hoped that the two squadrons prove successful against rest of the Corps and bring home the silverware.