A TEENAGER has been selected to go to Hong Kong to represent her cadet unit.
Natalie Ades, 17, of St Georges Road, is part of TS Hastings Sea Cadets, and was one of five chosen out of 30,000 other cadets from around the UK to fly out to China, as part of a fact-finding mission to see how cadets out there operate.
She will be heading to Hong Kong today(Saturday) and will be there until August 13.
Natalie, who is currently awaiting her A-level results from Parkwood 6th Form, said: “I am really excited about going. There will be me and four others from different units, and I’m the only one from Sussex who was chosen.
“We will be making visits to the Maritime Police and Coastal Defence Museum as well as the Museum of Hong Kong History and undergoing naval training, sea survival activities and boating.
“Seeing how the sea cadets operate in Hong Kong will be interesting.”
Natalie joined TS Hastings Sea Cadets five years ago after popping down to the unit’s HQ.
The former Helenswood pupil added: “Five years ago I couldn’t see myself going to Hong Kong to represent Hastings Sea Cadets.”
To be chosen, Natalie’s commanding officer Alison Brennan-Wright wrote glowing references about her before the teenager applied to be selected.
Since Natalie joined the unit she has gained qualifications in communications, navigation and semaphore, as well as a BTEC Level 2 in Public Services. She also has a power boating licence Level 2 accredited by the Royal Yachting Association.
Natalie, who eventually wants to join the Royal Navy, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Alison, my commanding officer and Kevin Boorman, from the council for their help.”
Lt (SCC) Brennan-Wright said: “This will be a really great experience for Natalie and we are proud she is going. We currently have another cadet in South Korea.”
Sea Cadets is the UK’s largest maritime youth charity, with 9,000 volunteers support 14,000 young people, aged between 10 and 18, in 400 towns across the UK. Through nautical adventure they learn vital life skills like leadership, communication and team working and can earn extra qualifications.
For more information log onto www.sea-cadets.org/hastings/home.aspx.