PETTY Officer Cadet James Clarke, a 17 year-old from Peterhead, has been selected to represent the United Kingdom Sea Cadets on an international exchange to Brisbane, Australia.
The exchange which began on Sunday, April 10, lasts for two weeks and was open to all cadets in the UK aged over 15. After completing an application form and being nominated by his commanding officers, James was then selected after being judged by the headquarters in London.
James said: “I decided to apply for the exchange because the experience looked great and it is something I will really enjoy.
“Opportunities like these don’t come up often and I didn’t want to miss the chance to be part of this international exchange.”
The exchange will give James a chance to experience many new things. He paid only £100 to go, as the exchange is sponsored by HSBC, and this would have only covered costs for the flight to Heathrow!
The young cadet will take part in many cultural experiences and activities, including a trip to Austrailia Zoo, taking part in the ANZAC parade through Brisbane, learning to surf at Surfers Paradise and the one he’s most looking forward too most, sailing.
He added: “There are four days sailing I’ll take part in, and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I love sailing and it will be great to do it somewhere where the weather should be better than it is around the British Coast. I’m also really looking forward to some sun and learning to surf!”
The once-in-a-lifetime trip will allow James to see how the Austrailian Navy Cadets compare with the British Sea Cadets, the ANZAC parade he will take part in at Brisbane will be similar to Peterhead’s remembrance day parade so he will be able to see the similarities and differences between the two.
Sub-Lieutenant at Peterhead, John Bowman added: “I was delighted to learn that James had been selected to represent the UK on his forthcoming trip to Australia.
“During his time in the cadets, James has developed into a confident, polite young man. Being selected for such a prestigious exchange is testimony to his character and the Peterhead Unit’s standing in the Sea Cadet Corps nationally.
“The Sea Cadets really does provide opportunities of a lifetime for our young people.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for James and I am certain he will not only be a first class ambassador for the United Kingdom, but he will also fly the flag high for Peterhead.”
After James completes his exchange he will return to studying his HNC in Computing at Banff and Buchan College, prior to joining the Royal Navy as a weapon engineering technician which he is currently on the waiting list for.