ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News
Ready. Aim. Fire.
Flight Corporal Clinton Rodney will be doing just that in mid-May – representing the Ponoka Cadet Squadron at a national level.
Rodney and his team competed in Edmonton against over 50 other Cadets from across Alberta and managed to make it to the composite team – an all-star team of sorts.
Although the rest of his squadron fell short of advancing at regionals in Edmonton, Rodney scored a gold medal and a bronze medal in the competition, which landed him a free trip to Whitehorse, Yukon where he will be representing the Ponoka Squadron.
At the competition, which was at Debney Armory, Rodney scored 97, 96, 94 and 92 in four separate rounds with the highest score possible for each round being 100.
Those scores landed him first in the junior (under 15) category and third overall.
“It’s really exciting, I definitely didn’t think I’d do that well,” said Rodney.
Rodney and his fellow shooters celebrated his medals the true Canadian way – a trip to Tim Hortons. After the competition, the group went to Tim Hortons, then after returning to Ponoka, the group – along with other friends – went to Tim Hortons again.
Shooting will not be the only thing the youngster does in Whitehorse. On the week-long trip, he will also be touring a gold mine, while the Canadian Government picks up the tab for the entire trip.
Rodney, who is in his third year with the Cadets, has impressed his superiors at the 65 Squadron as well.
His commanding officer Capt. Shane Kreil was impressed with his showing.
“It’s not overly surprising that he did so well,” said Kreil. “He’s been steadily improving since started here,” he added.
Kreil credits Rodney’s accomplishment to practice and regular attendance to the meetings.
Rodney’s accomplishment marks the first time in 10 years that someone from the 65 Squadron Ponoka Air Cadets has made it to the national level.
“He’s had a steady, but rapid growth,” said Kreil.
When asked how he expects to do at nationals, the modest youngster answered, “Probably no better or worse than how I finished in provincials.”
Rodney has plans of joining either the air force or the army as a career.
“I just want to serve my country,” said Rodney.