Spa­niard’s Bay teen’s sharp shoot­ing takes her places

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The Compass - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It’s been a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence, in and of it­self.

— War­rant Of­fi­cer Julie Ka­vanagh

BISLEY, ENG­LAND — Julie Ka­vanagh hasn’t had your av­er­age sum­mer. Her friends might be back home in Con­cep­tion Bay North work­ing, but Julie is sharp­en­ing her shoot­ing skills.

The 17-year-old from Spa­niard’s Bay is a part of the Royal Cana­dian Army Cadet Na­tional Ri­fle Team. Ear­lier this sum­mer, she trav­elled to the Con­naught Na­tional Army Cadet Sum­mer Train­ing Cen­tre in Ot­tawa and then went with the team to Bisley, Eng­land. There, she com­peted against hun­dreds of peo­ple from around the world in marks­man­ship.

“I’ve learned a lot about how to feel the wind — what ad­just­ments I need to make for what type of wind,” Ka­vanagh, a War­rant Of­fi­cer from 2372 Avalon North Army Cadets in Bay Roberts, told The Com­pass over the phone from Eng­land. “A lot of lit­tle tricks here and there on how to keep my po­si­tion steady and just a lot of sto­ries. It’s been a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence, in and of it­self.”

Julie started off with a C11 ri­fle be­fore pick­ing up a C12 last year — the same kind she’s us­ing to­day.

In Eng­land, she’s met peo­ple from teams rep­re­sent­ing places like Aus­tria, Cuba and Ger­many, among many other coun­tries. She was sched­uled to leave Europe af­ter a month­long stay last week to re­turn to Ot­tawa, where she will re­main for two weeks be­fore re­turn­ing to New­found­land.

“It’s been long, but worth it,” she said of her ex­pe­ri­ence this sum­mer with cadets.

Those in the know about cadets would be aware of the many op­por­tu­ni­ties it pro­vides young charges to travel and train in dif­fer­ent skillsets, whether it’s han­dling a ri­fle or nav­i­gat­ing a sail­ing ship.

“It’s very sad, be­cause in New­found­land it­self, it’s hon­estly start­ing to die out,” Julie said of the cadet move­ment. “There’s nowhere near as many peo­ple as there used to be, and no one knows about the ex­pe­ri­ences.”

The young cadet cred­its the pro­gram for mak­ing her more willing to try out new things.

“The best thing I’ve got­ten out of cadets is just be­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous, be­ing more out there,” said Julie, who will at­tend Grade 12 at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts this fall. “Like be­fore I joined cadets, I didn’t re­ally do much. I was more of an in­side per­son, didn’t re­ally want to go out­side. But it’s made me take ev­ery mo­ment as it comes, one day at a time.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

War­rant Of­fi­cer Julie Ka­vanagh of Spa­niard’s Bay is a mem­ber of the 2372 Avalon North Army Cadets group.

Julie Ka­vanagh, sec­ond from the right in the front row, with the rest of the Royal Cana­dian Army Cadet Na­tional Ri­fle Team.

Julie Ca­vanagh in ac­tion dur­ing a train­ing ex­er­cise.

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