Royal Marines cadet to represent the 2018 GB Freestyle Kayaking Team

Alex Ludlow, who attends Redditch and Bromsgrove Sea Cadets, will join the team in Bratislava, Slovakia from 16th-19th August where they will compete against teams from across Europe.

He said: “I’m definitely looking forward to it, it’s my first real international competition and it’s my first time travelling abroad. It’s been a real pleasure having Sea Cadets help me on my first one.”

Alex, who joined the cadets as a junior, made the squad for the first time last year. “You get trials every year, but I’ve always had to train myself because money has been a bit tight and personal training is expensive.

“But last year I went for it and I got into the squad, and then I started speaking to more people and bouncing off them. This year I went for it again and it paid off.”

Being part of the Sea Cadets has helped massively because outside of cadets I’ve been funding it all myself.

Alex Ludlow

The squads are made up of five members who train with the team but don’t compete, one reserve and three competitors. This year Alex skipped reserve and went straight into the team, a huge achievement.

The competition will see Alex and his two teammates complete as many highly-skilled moves – from loops to cartwheels – in a 45 second period. They will do three runs, and the best two are counted towards their score.

Speaking about his time with Sea Cadets, Alex said: “Being part of the Sea Cadets has helped massively because outside of cadets I’ve been funding it all myself. I’m classed as a young carer for my dad, and he can’t do much work and my mum tries to earn as much as she can, so I’ve had to pay for it all. I’m only 16 so I don’t have a huge wage.”

During his time with the cadets, Alex has been able to regularly kayak, completing many courses and becoming a fully-qualified kayaking instructor. He’s even managed to get a place at Hartpury College and University Centre, one of the leading sports education centres in the UK.

“I think I use Sea Cadets as an escape from home, not that it’s a bad thing but it’s just nice to get out of the house which is part of why I did it. Now that I’ve made the team it feels like it has all been worth it. It’s an honour to represent my country and next year I’ll definitely be aiming for worlds, which would be a big achievement.”

Sea Cadets Captain Phil Russell, said: “Alex really embodies the Ethos and values of Sea Cadets. He's shown great determination and self-discipline to be in this position and everyone at Sea Cadets is immensely proud of his achievements. We wish him and the rest of Team GB every success at the competition.”