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High Flying Hardit Up for National Awards

2014-03-13 15:20:10
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By Flt Lt G G Richardson - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron

19-year old Longbenton Air Cadet, Hardit Parmar is amongst the top cadets in the country and aiming to be the best and jet off on an African adventure!  

Last year, we reported how Hardit, who attends St Mary’s Catholic School in Benton, had gained his Flying Wings after successfully completing a Flying Scholarship at Tayside Aviation where he flew solo. Now, the young adult has the opportunity to go on a three week education and adventure expedition in South Africa in the summer.  

The CVQO Duke of Westminster Award aims to find the very best of the BTEC cadets across the United Kingdom. It looks for cadets who go above and beyond, who work hard to achieve all they can and who face challenges head on, building resilience and determination. Regular cadet activity is assumed – the CVQO Duke of Westminster Award is for those who go the extra mile and whose attitude is to fulfill their potential despite obstacles, adversity or circumstance.

The Longbenton Air Cadet was nominated by his squadron for showing commitment, drive and determination and a real interest in the community. Hardit has enjoyed amazing opportunities, such as his Flying and Gliding Wings, BTEC in Aviation Studies and BTEC First Diploma in Public Services, performed in the squadron band for Her Majesty the Queen in Alnwick and when she opened Tyne Tunnel 2 as well as during the Olympic Games, and has gained his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He now leads and guides others to achieve and enjoy such opportunities.

Following an initial nomination process, 21 young people from across the cadet forces –  sea, army and air –  have been chosen to compete in a challenging four day selection outdoor adventure event in Somerset. As part of the selection event in April, each candidate will have the opportunity to earn an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management. The final nine will attend a ceremony in London in June to be presented with their ILM certificates and discover who will be named CVQO Duke of Westminster Award Winner 2014, before departing for South Africa.

Squadron boss, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said, “Hardit is a smart, polite young man who has worked hard over the past five years to achieve what he has. He is an excellent role model and we all support him as he prepares for the selection interview.” 

Not only is Hardit up for the Duke of Westminster Award, but he is also up for another top honour – the Dacre Sword which is presented to the Top Male Air Cadet in the UK! Hardit has been recognised as the Top Male in Durham and Northumberland Wing and is now competing with another five males to be recognised as the Top Male Air Cadet in the North of England. If successful, he’ll then compete against six males from around the UK to be crowned as the Top Male Air Cadet in the UK!

“It’s unbelievable really,” said Hardit. “I just get on with things and try my best in everything and try to do as much as I can too. I enjoy being in the Air Cadets as we get so many opportunities and  two days after being announced as the Top Male Air Cadet in the Wing I found out that I’d made it to the CVQO Selection Centre. I’m currently studying for my A Levels as I’m aiming to study to become a doctor so this will certainly help my CV!” added Hardit.

Hardit will find out in April if he’s been successful in both competitions.

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