Local air cadets will be aiming for a national marksmanship title in Victoria next month, after clinching gold at the provincial competition last weekend.
An all-female team of five cadets – Flight Sgt. Teresa Liao, Sgt. Catherine Cui, Sgt. Dianna Dai, Cpl. Ruby Liu and Leading Air Cadet Vivian Ma – from the South Surrey-based 907 Black Knight Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron came away from the provincial challenge, held at CFB Esquimalt, with “numerous” medals, a news release states.
Liu won gold in junior standing individual and open standing individual, and silver in junior cumulative; Liao won silver in open prone individual and bronze in open cumulative; and Dai won gold in open prone individual.
Sixty-five air, army and sea cadets from 12 B.C. communities competed, taking aim at paper targets with a Daisy 853C air rifle. Each team had to have at least two junior cadets under the age of 15.
The group has a history of strong showings in marksmanship competitions.
Liao was on a team that placed second overall at last year’s provincial event, held in Vernon. In 2012, cadet Matthew Wong won gold at the nationals for top junior marksmanship, which goes to the cadet with the highest cumulative results.
The cadet marksmanship program is patterned on Olympic-style competitive shooting, and several Canadian Olympians got their start through the cadet program, including Pat Vamplew and Mike Ashcroft.
Capt. Cheryl Major, public affairs officer with CFB Esquimalt, told Black Press it’s not about “building soldiers.”
“It’s about building really effective, young Canadians that are successful in whatever career path they choose after they finish the cadet program.”
This year’s national competition is set for May 7-10, when two teams from each province will set their sights on the title.
The 907 Black Knight team will be joined at nationals by a team from Surrey’s 2812 Seaforth Highlanders Royal Canadian Army Cadets – Sgt. Jerry Zhu, M/Cpl. Yuning Ren, M/Cpl. Lele Cheng, M/Cpl. Grace Woo and M/Cpl. Kevin Zhang – who won silver in last weekend’s competition.
– with files from