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Brantford cadets make their mark at regional competition

Local NewsBrantford cadets make their mark at regional competition

Two cadets from Brantford were giving their best effort for the Regional Cadet Support Unit (RCSU) Central 2023-2024 Biathlon Championship Series Stage 3a Regional Run-and-Shoot Competition held on November 25 and 26, 2023, at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

Kyrianna Jorgensen, 17, a Chief Warrant Officer with 2659 Royal Canadian Army Cadets and Gabriel Kulikauskas, 15, a Leading Cadet with 135 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet and 166 other cadets from all across Ontario came together for the competition.

“I love marksmanship, it’s one of my favourite things about the competition, the rush and the adrenaline you get,” Jorgensen said. She has represented her corps at biathlon competitions several times at the regional level.

“With marksmanship you really need to concentrate so you get consistency in your shooting, with this competition, though, you also have to contend with the running part,” she said. “You get your heart rate up; the adrenaline is rushing even more and you have to be speedy. When you shoot and get all your targets down, it’s so much more rewarding.”

Kyrianna Jorgensen, right, participating in the running aspect of the competition on Saturday, November 25, 2023. Canadian Armed Forces photo by OCdt. J.T. Lewis

Jorgensen ended up in third place overall in Sunday’s individual competition. Kulikauskas was hoping for a better shooting score during the competition Saturday.

“I would’ve liked to shoot better, I got 8 out of 10, but, it’s still pretty decent,” he said. “I did really like the track here, nice and flat. Where we had our area competition, the track was hilly and more of a challenge.”

Kulikauskas and his teammate ended up in third place overall for Saturday’s team competition.

For the competition the participants had to complete a series of running and shooting bouts using an air rifle. In Saturday’s competition, they had to run one kilometre, then shoot at five knock down targets, run another kilometre and do the shoot a second time trying to knock down the five targets, then finish with a one kilometre run for a total of three kilometres.

Saturday’s competition was a team competition, each participant was paired with a partner from their area for a combined team score.

Sunday’s competition was a little more intense. It was an individual competition where the participants alternated running a one-kilometre lap and shooting after each lap, for a total run of five kilometres and four trips to the firing point to try and shoot the knock down targets.

Both cadets spoke of the program and how much it has to offer youth.

“There’s so many aspects of the program to like,” Jorgensen said. “Now I’m seeing more of the community aspects through my corps, I have gotten a lot of chances to give back to my community. I like that we can create initiatives that help give back to the community, we have this big group of kids who are willing to help with these initiatives that benefit the community.”

For Kulikauskas the decision to become a sea cadet broke with family tradition.

“My family has a tradition of doing air cadets, but, I’m a lot more interested in boats and sailing,” he said. “Ultimately I heard that there is a program that can send me B.C. to be on a Tall Ship for a week. I was considering another program where you need to pay a couple of thousand dollars to do the same thing, here there is the possibility to do the same thing with all expenses paid.”

“I definitely want to try and do that, I think it would be the experience of a lifetime giving me lots of experience in teamwork and present me with opportunities to develop my leadership skills,” he added.

The Cadet Program is open to all youth between the ages of 12-18 years old and develops confident, self-sufficient leaders who form lasting friendships and are engaged in their communities while promoting physical fitness, healthy living, and fostering an interest in the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces. If you are ready for the challenge, visit www.canada.ca/join-cadets.

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