A secondary school has become the first from the state sector to bag silverware in a contest of boot camp skills.
Ernest Bevin College (EBC) made history in the Pringle Trophy, a national competition involving Royal Marines Combined Cadet Force (CCF) cadets from schools across the UK.
The Pringle Trophy took place over the weekend of 4 – 6 March at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, with cadets taking part in 12 activities which test their military skills, including first aid, map reading and an assault course.
The team, consisting of nine CCF members, won the first place trophy for teamwork skills.
They were led by Cadet Colour Sergeant Michael F., a year 13 student.
Each day began at 5:30am and lasted into the evening, with cadets living in an unheated warehouse and using only sleeping bags to keep warm at night.
This is only the second time that Ernest Bevin College has entered the competition, the first time being in 2019.
Sean Riches, CCF Senior Staff Instructor, said: “Pringle Trophy is probably the toughest activity a Royal Marines Cadet can ever take part in.
Cadets who volunteer to represent the college in this competition deserve our respect as it involves being wet, muddy and cold for prolonged periods of time.
To win a trophy on our second time in the competition just shows the dedication and talent of these students. I am proud of each and every one of them.”
Tracy Dohel, Principal of Ernest Bevin College, added: “It is an incredible achievement to be the only state school to have won an award in the Pringle Trophy.
I am so impressed with the commitment and resilience of EBC’s cadets. On behalf of myself and all the staff a huge well done.”
The final challenge completed by the cadets was the commando endurance course, an assault course regularly used by Royal Marines Commandos.
It consists of rope challenges, wall climbing and ditches, culminating in cadets crawling underwater through a fully-submerged seven-foot long tunnel.
Ernest Bevin College is one out of two London schools, and the only London state school, offering the Royal Marines branch of CCF.
Students can train for five years, from school years 9 – 13.
The Pringle Trophy began in 1983 and is named after Sir Steuart Pringle, a former Lieutenant General and Commandant General of the Royal Marines.