LINLITHGOW lad Andrew Mitchell is flying high as his career as an Air Cadet reaches new heights.
Cadet Corporal Andrew (15) joined 439 (Linlithgow) Squadron ATC in March 2010, with the dream of flying and since then he has soared and has just been named Cadet of the Year 2011 in the local group.
Gordon Will, secretary of the civilian committee, said: “Andrew has done very well - he’s a great guy and puts a lot of effort in. What he has achieved is terrific.”
This is just the latest accolade over the last two years for the youngster who is a fourth year pupil at Linlithgow Academy.
Only weeks after starting as a cadet, Andrew, of Springfield Court, took part in his first inter-squadron athletics championships.
He did himself proud, winning gold in the long jump, by nearly half a metre, and picking up silver in the 1500m.
He was selected for the Wing team to compete against the best cadets from all over the Scotland and Northern Ireland Region in the long jump, in which he took a silver medal.
Over the course of the year he qualified as a First Class Cadet and then as a Leading Cadet, and attended his first camp at Barry Buddon.
He also attended the Leuchars Air Show and marched in both the Battle of Britain and Remembrance Day parades through Linlithgow.
He also had his first flight in a glider, which he described as “one of the best experiences in my life”.
Following on from that, Andrew gained his Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, VHF/UHF Radio Operator’s Certificate, became a Youth First Aider and passed his Senior Cadet examinations.
Most recently at the Wing Athletics Championships, he won three gold medals in the 400m, 800m and long jump.
This success meant that he won the Victor Ludorum Shield for the best U17 athlete. He represented the Wing at these three events on June 3 at the Scotland and Northern Ireland regional athletics competition and again came top in all three.
While balancing cadets, athletics and school work, Andrew also finished fifth out of all Air Cadets at the Corps Cross Country Championships earlier in the year, and was first finished in the Region.
If anyone aged 13-17 wishes to join Andrew and the 439 Squadron, new recruits are welcome on Monday at their HQ on Barkhill Road.