The JTYAF was delighted to support the team from Dorset and Wiltshire Wing Air Training Corps to attend the Nijmegen Marches 2018 and would like to congratulate all those who took part on their achievement.
This is the 8th consecutive year that the charity has supported this event making the challenge accessible to a total of 140 Air Cadets over the years. The cadets were literally following in John's footsteps as he completed the Nijmegen 4 Day Marches in 2000 and 2001 and he would be delighted that the JTYAF is supporting this challenge
It takes six months to build up physical stamina and gain team spirit to be able to complete the 4 days of Marching 40Km a day in the Netherlands. They march along with 50,000 people from all around the world completing 100 miles of marching, waking at 3am, walking for more than 32 hours in total and taking around 210,000 steps!
We had many fabulous thank you letters and reports from the Air Cadets and would like to share extracts from some of them below.
This summer due to the generosity of the foundation and the financial support provided I was able to take part and complete the Nijmegen 100 mile walk or as it is officially known Vierdaagse. With the help from the foundation I was able to afford this amazing trip away and was able to push myself more physically then I could have ever imagined. This combined with the early wake ups and hot days made it even more challenging, and yet this will forever go down as one of the best things I have ever done and enjoyed every second of it.
My experience of the Nijmegen trip was an amazing insight to the power teamwork has and the impact it has on you when you are feeling most vulnerable. Without the support from my team and some of the few 46,000 others that took part, I can safely say that I would have struggled to keep myself motivated.
The March is a lot of hard work and all of us had our fair share of blisters and sore feet but it was worth the pain. Over these 4 days I met some amazing people and created friendships that will last a lifetime. I would like to thank the JTYAF so so much for giving me the opportunity to attend such a wonderful event as without their support I would have not been able to go.
The qualifying walk at RAF Lyneham was the hardest challenge of my life with two consecutive 25-mile walks. These tough walks made our small group of Cadets – all different ages – friends for life.
My Nijmegen experience was incredible as I have never seen so many people walking at the same time! The atmosphere was exhilarating which made the walks enjoyable and made the distances go quickly. The feeling as I crossed the finish line was amazing – I had walked over 100 miles in 4 days.
Nijmegen is an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had without being a Cadet and the Cadets couldn’t do it without the support of your Foundation. We are hoping to inspire other Cadets from our Wing to take part next year as it’s a real experience of a lifetime.
The whole experience of entering and completing the 4 day marches has not only given me another shiny new medal but has left me with memories of a truly inspirational experience and friends for life. Personally I feel that I have more confidence in travelling abroad, more experience in working as a team and more belief in my own abilities to complete challenges well and truly outside my comfort zone.
I have recently been promoted to Corporal within my air cadet squadron and therefore would love to think that I can act as a role model for others as part of this role. I am hoping that my participation in Nijmegen might encourage other cadets within my squadron to take part in this event in the future.
Thank you so much for making all this possible!!!
We also had a fabulous report from one of the parents who travelled with his son who was under 14 years to act as a chaperone. The younger cadets walk 30 km a day for 4 days to qualify for their medal.