Two of the Army Cadet Force’s key Values are Discipline and Selfless Commitment to Others – values embodied by Cadet Elliot Lawson of Newmarket Detachment. Over the course of three weeks, he has run 42 miles and raised more than £1000 for Show Racism the Red Card.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) is the UKs largest anti-racism education charity. SRtRC organises workshops for young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at public events to provide education to help tackle racism in sports and in everyday life. Cdt Lawson was compelled to help this cause after having heard racist abuse at school and having heard about the racism directed at black footballers after the Euro 2020 Final. He said; ‘‘Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all just played their hearts out representing England, and to be treated in that way was disgusting. It sprung me into action. I think it is important that the next generation are educated in how to be more accepting of everyone, that they are kind to each other, that they show others compassion and most of all that people stop being racist.’
Cadet Lawson at Newmarket Detachment, and running nearby. Pictures: Doug Stuart
Cdt Lawson was already experienced at running and passionate about combating racism, but he felt this was the right time to do something to make a difference. He decided to start running two miles everyday, after school at Newmarket Gallops. Although his efforts were held up by breaking his coccyx in an un-related incident, he recovered quickly and resumed running as soon as possible. He has now completed his planned 42 miles, and raised considerably more money than he anticipated, explaining ‘I was shocked, I didn’t think I would even raise £500.’
Cdt Lawson, 14, has been a cadet at Newmarket Detachment since May, having applied to join the ACF as soon as he was old enough, though held-up by the pandemic. He is now Basic complete and extremely keen to progress, be promoted, and take on responsibilities. He attended Annual Camp this year and described his experience as; ‘great- I’ve never had so much fun!’, and he is looking forward to collecting for the Poppy Appeal in November. He also understands the value his ACF experience will offer him for his future career. ‘I plan to join the Army and be a tank crewman. I love lots of things about the ACF, especially shooting, first aid, and drill.’
Cadet Lawson at Annual Camp 2021: dressed for the field, and taking part in the laser team games. Pictures: Doug Stuart
His mother, Dominique, said; ‘The Army Cadets have given him such a confidence boost, and is helping him find his identity. Staff Sgt Rudderham and everyone at Newmarket has been amazing with him, and I couldn’t be more happy with how things are going for him.’
His fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fun...
Text by PI Doug Stuart