A group of students from South Wiltshire UTC in Salisbury worked well in the Royal Navy-organised Junior Leaders Field Gun competition.

They combined with Reading UTC in a team called ALET Warriors, named after the Activate Learning Trust.

The event is for 16-to-24-year-olds who recently joined the armed forces, just begun apprenticeships with the university technical colleges, are attending local community colleges, or are part of the Military Cadet Forces.

With no previous field gun experience, teams compete to build and transport a field gun and limber up, along a specialised marked track measuring 85m. Stopping only to complete specific actions – and all with the aim to run home penalty free and with the fastest time.

Building on The Royal Navy’s core values of Courage, Discipline, Respect & Integrity, the teams train hard from Monday to Thursday to compete in a three- heat competition starting on Thursday afternoon and running on to Friday.

The ALET Warriors came in eighth overall, and all agreed it was a fantastic experience.

“It was amazing how well we gelled as a team after only one hour of training,” said South Wiltshire UTC student, Will Penton.

On day two, the youngsters had to muster lots of grit and determination to do three full runs. South Wiltshire UTC student Charlie Gould-Hocking said: “It’s amazing how we’ve known each other for two days, yet we are functioning as a complete team.

“We share ideas, encouragement and the graft while enjoying every minute of it.”

Teacher, Ewan Scott, who accompanied the students on the event said:

“The ALET Warriors narrowly missed out on the Highest Placed UTC by 0.1 second, but they won the respect of the field gun community with their grit and determination, and everyone left with a huge pile of self-belief.”

The Junior Leaders Challenge is the only competition open specifically for new recruits and youths, offering them a chance to work as a team and challenge themselves in a unique setting.

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