Cadets go head to head

James Lane from the Sea Cadets during the 75km race for the Royal British Legion at Leyland Leisure Centre
James Lane from the Sea Cadets during the 75km race for the Royal British Legion at Leyland Leisure Centre
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It wasn’t quite blood, sweat and tears, but these cadets certainly put their backs into a special race at Leyland Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Three teams from the Army, Sea and Air Cadets competed in a 75-kilometre race using treadmills, cycle and rowing machines, to help raise awareness of the Lostock Hall Royal British Legion’s 75th anniversary.

Member Michael Turner said: “Most of the general public is unaware of what we actually do; many think we only come out in November to sell poppies.

“We want to try to raise the profile of the Legion, so we thought it would be nice to organise a competition between our three local cadet forces.”

Each 25 kilometre section was associated with an event from the Second World War to represent each service’s contribution.

Mr Turner explained: “The first leg was a cycle from East Church airfield in Kent to Dover. Eastchurch was a battle of Britain base in 1940 and the home of 266 Squadron who flew spitfires during the conflict.

“The second leg involved rowing across the channel to Normandy. Although much greater than 25km it represents the contribution of the Royal Navy and Fleet air arm throughout the war.

“The final leg was a run from the Normandy beachhead to Caen. This town was one of the earliest objectives following the landings, but eventually took some 12 weeks to take.

“This leg represents the efforts of the army on June 4, 1944.”

Leyland Leisure Centre offered the use of the facilities, as the centre is managed by Serco, which also manages military bases and has direct connections with the Legion and its aims.

Mr Turner said they would like to make the cadet challenge a national event at other centres that Serco manages.

He added that the Legion intends to use the same format as the opening event for the 2013 Poppy Appeal in October, to raise funds for the cause.