Cadets from Summerdale High School in Lentegeur have been chosen to be part of a South African Sea Cadets course and visit their base at TS Woltemade, in Marina Da Gama.
Jamie Bruiners, Shakerah Eksteen, Tyrese Hartzenberg, Collin Speelman, Nurah Samaai, Kaitlyn Benjamin, Chandler Carolus, and Nosipho Leeman were the eight pupils chosen to join the sea cadets in January 2024.
It’s the first time they are drilling as a team with such an opportunity, said head coach, and assistant teacher, Yunus Abrahams.
Mr Abrahams was also chosen for the leadership programme where he will become a marching instructor. It is also his first time coaching.
Mr Abrahams started drilling in Grade 5 and stopped in Grade 11. He also marched for Spine Road High and got an education assistant position at Summerdale after finishing school.
“It allows them to grow, learn and follow whichever career they choose with the skills they will learn. It is a seven-month course, learning about the different criteria and aspects of the sea cadets through their discipline and basic training,” said assistant coach, Gary Jefferies.
Mr Jefferies said that being a part of the drilling squad shows the cadets capabilities. “It shows them they can grow coming from the community they come from. Youngsters can make a change where’ve they find themselves,” he said.
Cadet Tinnica Minnaar, 17, from Portland, said being part of this team changed her life.
“I had problems with my discipline, and this programme has helped me so that I am not influenced by gangsterism and shootings. I can keep myself off the streets by doing this programme,” she said.
“My approach with discipline wasn’t a good one, but I’ve learnt to control my anger and to be respectful to others especially considering their circumstances. I also want to show the youngsters even if they dropped out of school to not give up in life and achieve your goals through respect,” she said.
Jamie Bruiners, 17, from Watergate, said she only started drilling this year.
“I joined to see how far I can go in life. With the help of my sister’s encouragement, I pursued drilling. I didn’t expect to come so far. I’m proud of myself. I was challenged through respect and it influenced my choices with my friends. I prayed about it and asked God to help me and guide me and he answered my prayer,” said Jamie.
Drummer Chandler Carolus, 18, from Lentegeur, said he was inspired by the sea cadets story to continue to be part of this programme.
This opened his eyes to the opportunity. “I had a hobby of dancing, I was dancing throughout the years and I was told by a family member my dancing won’t work because my marks dropped a bit. I left dancing and always had a love for it. I found drilling and joined the squad which was similar to dancing,” he said.
“Stay focused, be generous when you can and leave all the bad things behind. Think twice before you do something. Join a community squad and take it from there,” he said. He would like to travel the world through dancing and drilling.
For more information contact Mr Abrahams on 076 072 9309 or Mr Jefferies on 063 511 9660.