Chichester students embrace Field Gun challenge

Written by Eleanor on 11th July 2019

Students at Chichester College relished the opportunity to take part in this year's Junior Leaders' Field Gun competition, which was held at HMS Collingwood in Fareham on Friday (5 July).

The Chichester team, made up of sports and public services students, spent four days training together in the run up to competition.

They were competing against teams from other colleges, including Fareham and Itchen, as well as teams from the armed forces, such as HMS Sultan and RAF Cosford (who went on to win the overall competition).

Team captain Scott Young, who has just completed his Public Services course at the college, said: “It’s has been a really good experience for us all. I couldn’t have hoped for a better team.

“It brings together people who wouldn’t normally spend time with each other but we’ve all come together and worked as a team, as a unit – we’ve become like a family!

“This was my second year, first as team captain and I’m really proud of the team for the way we’ve worked.

“I think it’s a great experience and although I won’t be studying at the college next year, I really want to come back as a volunteer to help mentor the team.”

The tournament, which is organised by the Royal Navy, saw 16 teams competing to transport a field gun - weighing around the same as a small car - and its equipment over a track distance measuring 85 metres in the fastest time.

The Chichester team competed well to once again reach the Plate 1 Final, although they were ultimately unable to defend the title which they won last year for the first time.

Wayne Hodkinson, lecturer in Public Services at Chichester College, mentored and trained the crew for the competition. He said: “I am extremely proud of this team - they worked incredibly hard throughout the whole week and really rose to the challenge.

“The way they have worked as a team has been brilliant – probably the best I’ve seen Chichester.

“Field Gun is really tough – physically and mentally. It is hard work but they put everything into the competition, which seems to get tougher every year.

“The standard this year, across the board, was probably the highest yet. We may not have won silverware this time out, but I am immensely proud of them and they should take pride in what they have done.

"It's always an honour to be asked to take part in the competition, the Royal Navy do a brilliant job organising it and supporting us - from the hospitality to training the team and providing equipment.

"We are extremely grateful to them."

At the end of the competition the college gave out two special awards to crew members who had particularly shone during the five days.

Harry Rayment was presented with the endeavour award, whilst Rihards Lusis was named the Chichester College Field Gunner of the Year.