As exam fever sweeps through schools and colleges, teenagers from the North Coast have been tackling a rather different sort of test.
They have just taken part in a forty hour challenge which stretched them physically and mentally as they pitted their skills against Cadets from across Northern Ireland.
Tough as the Northern Ireland Army Cadet Force Military Skills Competition may have been, it also proved to be a valuable stress-buster for pressurized teenagers, as Colonel David McCleery OBE, Colonel Cadets (NI) explains: “Learning to cope with challenge and pressure is all part of growing up, but it seems that too many young people can be overwhelmed by the demands of modern life.
“The Army Cadet Force has always helped young people to gain confidence as well as skills, building friendships as they develop their talents. This annual competition shows the benefits of that philosophy in action.
“This great team of Cadets drawn from detachments in Coleraine, Ballymoney, Eglinton and Drumahoe threw themselves into the Magilligan challenge with great humour and energy, enjoying the total break from routine. They were more than happy to get muddy, wet and tired as they battled to win honours in this annual competition. Their team spirit was superb and they really worked together, encouraging one another and having great fun as they were awarded runners-up prize in the First Aid competition. I know they will have returned to school and college refreshed, recharged and energized, after a healthful and fulfilling weekend.”