Over 150 cadets and officers from all 12 East and West Kootenay units met last weekend to engage in friendly sports and fitness competition.
Sea, army, and air cadets from Creston, Fernie, Invermere, Golden, Elkford, Cranbrook, Trail, Nelson, and Kimberley joined their host, the 581 Castlegar Air Cadets, at Selkirk College, to take part in activities ranging from volleyball and basketball to 20-metre shuttle runs and push-ups — and even a dance.
“We put a huge focus on having a variety of activities to ensure everyone is having fun,” said Tyler Visona, a volunteer instructor for the 581 Squadron and former cadet himself. “All the while meeting new friends from other units.”
The goal of the Air Cadets is to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; promote physical fitness; and to stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces. As part of this goal, each cadet unit is required to participate in a fitness assessment at least once a year.
“Cadets were able to earn their cadet fitness badge, compete in sports activities and learn leadership skills.” said Capt. Gerry Rempel commanding officer of the 581 Castlegar Air Cadets. “Additionally, they got to participate with youth from other units while also making new friends.”
“My favorite part was being a role model to my cadets, and getting to show them all of the benefits cadets has to offer,” said Sierra Johnson, a flight sergeant with the 581 Castlegar Air Cadets.
“East Meets West is fantastic … (and) makes cadets feel more connected to their fellow cadets,” said Flight Sgt. Dylan Hastie. “My favourite part was interacting with different cadets from all over the region.”
The cadet program is open to all youth between the ages of 12 and 18 with a focus on leadership, citizenship and healthy living.