Among the craft in Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough who have made it their home since it opened thirty years ago, are the rowing boats belonging to the Bangor Sea Cadet Unit, T S Decoy. Their shore base is an ex-Scout hall in Ward Park in the town. The unit’s sailing dinghies are kept at the Outdoor Centre at Killyleagh and the paddleboards at their HQ. Officer in Charge is Philip Atwell.
The Bangor unit has a great record in local and national competition. It prides itself on winning last year, the Sea Cadet burgee with Shamrock as best overall unit in Northern Ireland, and the Amaryllis Trophy for the best sporting unit in the region.
Skilled rowing is high on the trophy list with the under 15 girls’ team winning bronze in London at the national finals. And the unit’s football teams excel also, the under- 15 girls having competed in 5 a-side football, winning Gold in the district competition and bronze in the national competition.
Three of the District team boys took silver. And the junior section cadets (10 - 12-year olds) won bronze in the same competition. A force to be reckoned with.
The 58 strong group, about half of which are girls, is one of several in the region with a total of 380 cadets. The others are Carrickfergus, Larne, Portrush, Belfast (where there are two), Lisburn, Newtownards, Kilkeel, Ballymena, Cookstown and a planned one in Enniskillen.
The Sea Cadets are a national charity with 400 units across the UK. T S Decoy welcomes “young people to a different kind of adventure. We're helping to launch local young people for life today, transforming them into confident, resilient young people who thrive in a complex world.