Hard work pays as Oamaru cadet selected for SI team

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For the first time in more than 40 years, Oamaru will be represented at a St John National Youth Festival competition.
St John Oamaru cadet Caleb Jopson (15) has been selected for the South Island representative team for the national competition to be held at the festival in Whangarei next April.
The South Island team will compete against Northern and Central teams, taking part in drill, first aid, healthcare and communication challenges.
Caleb,a cadet sergeant, said he was delighted to be selected.
‘‘I was pretty stoked. I was quite overwhelmed to find out, out of 65 people, I was selected as one of 24.’’
He hoped to share the knowledge he gained at the competition with his fellow cadets.
‘‘I’m excited most about the knowledge that I will gain from it all, and that I can give it back to my division here.’’
Before the festival, Caleb will attend several training camps in various locations around the South Island.
St John district youth manager for Central Otago Felicia McCrone, the former St John Oamaru area executive, said Caleb’s selection was ‘‘huge’’ for the organisation locally.
‘‘It’s the first time since the very early 1970s that someone from Oamaru has competed at national level.
‘‘I’m so proud of him. He has worked really hard and taken every opportunity that has been put in front of him. That hard work and persistence has paid off.’’
She said Caleb was a respected leader among St John Oamaru’s youth arm and recently received the Grand Prior Award, the highest honour a cadet can receive.
To earn the award, a cadet must perform 100 hours’ community service and complete six compulsory subjects and six other subjects that are chosen by the cadet and cover various areas.