Loom­ing Navy stint ‘ex­cit­ing and scary’

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Tae­lar Sa­muel and Liam McLean ad­mit nerves are only nat­u­ral as they be­gin a huge chap­ter in their lives this week.

The for­mer Mana Col­lege duo, who came through the school’s ser­vices academy, de­part for Devon­port for ba­sic train­ing in the New Zealand Navy soon. Not ev­ery­one will make it through the 13 weeks, but the academy’s di­rec­tor Dave Prosser has com­plete faith in them.

‘‘There are peo­ple who don’t make it but these guys have shown the com­mit­ment and the skills to do well.’’

Tae­lar, 19, a for­mer Welling­ton re­gion hockey rep­re­sen­ta­tive, is not long back from over­seas, where she spent time as a nanny and coach­ing Italy’s bur­geon­ing waka ama pad­dlers.

Once through ba­sic train­ing, she will be­come a com­mu­ni­ca­tions op­er­a­tor.

‘‘In my last year at school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

‘‘The academy gave me fo­cus and I re­ally en­joyed my­self, I’m so thank­ful for the sup­port they’ve given me. I like the ethic of the Navy, it is help­ing keep our community safe.’’

Tae­lar and Liam are among just four from this re­gion to be ac­cepted in an in­take of 60. The ap­pli­ca­tion process was lengthy, in­volv­ing rig­or­ous tests and clear­ances.

Liam, 18, who is flu­ent in te reo Maori, says join­ing the armed forces is some­thing he has wanted since he was a year 11, when a Navy re­cruiter came to the col­lege.

‘‘I wanted to join be­cause of the life­style and the pay, trav­el­ling the world and stay­ing fit.’’

He says hav­ing his mother an­nounce his ac­cep­tance to ba­sic train­ing in front of all his friends was an emo­tional mo­ment. He will train to be­come a stores ac­coun­tant.

Tae­lar and Liam have both achieved NCEA level three and have their feet on the ground. They know the com­ing weeks won’t be easy, as they make the leap from civil­ians to mem­bers of our De­fence Force.

‘‘ It’s ex­cit­ing and scary,’’ Tae­lar says. ‘‘I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and of the fact we’re from Porirua. We’ll be sure to let ev­ery­one [at ba­sic] know where we’re from.’’

Navy new­bies: Porirua teenagers Liam McLean and Tae­lar Sa­muel will start ba­sic train­ing for the New Zealand Navy this week.

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