Grantham teenager is ATC UK sports cadet of the year

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A cadet from 47F Grantham Squadron Air Training Corps has been awarded the title of ‘sports’ cadet of the year for 2012-13 for the whole of the United Kingdom.

Eighteen-year-old cadet Flight Sergeant Jake Spridgens has been with 47F since the age of 13. He has always been a keen sportsman and has represented the squadron, Trent Wing and the Central and East Region, playing football and rugby as team captain and has on several occasions been voted player of the tournament.

Jake is a also a 100m sprinter and finished first at this year’s Corps athletics championships, competing with the best the Air Training Corps can offer in the country.

He looks after all of the sporting activities at the squadron and the sessions are organised to encourage all cadets to participate and improve their skills. For the Trent Wing team, he is responsible for coaching the junior football and rugby team, and assists in the team selections.

Away from the squadron, Jake assists both able bodied and disabled young people to participate in sport and is a qualified special needs coach at Grantham College where he runs weekly sports sessions. He is also currently helping at local schools, coaching rugby and football teams and at The Meres leisure centre with athletics and cross country championships.

Jake has rowed for Lincolnshire in the National Championships and has met Sir Steve Redgrave. He also met Lord Coe during the 2012 Olympics to launch the national sports programme and was part of the support team for the torch bearer relay through Grantham.

The charity Inspire Plus is also an area where Jake devotes a lot of time and he was made a Platinum Sports Ambassador for Grantham this year.

His application for the sports person of the year award was submitted to Wing Commander Tony Wright earlier in the year and was endorsed finally by Headquarters Air Cadets at RAF Cranwell. The award was made last week at the Grantham squadron headquarters by Officer Commanding Trent Wing, Wing Commander Tony Wright in front of his family and friends and fellow cadets.

Wing Commander Wright said: “It is a great honour to present this to such a good all round sportsman who is a credit and inspiration to the Air Training Corps.”

+ Grantham squadron parade nights take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at its Triggs Yard HQ between 7pm and 9pm.