Double celebration for Army cadet Aaron

A teenager has celebrated double success after winning two awards in a week.

14-year-old Risedale School pupil Aaron Park was presented with the army cadet of the year award at the Catterick Detachment of the Yorkshire (N&W) Army Cadet Force on Thursday.

Two days later, he received the player of the year award for his U14s team at Catterick Garrison Football Centre.

Aaron was presented with The Gaurab Rai Award by Army Cadet Force County Commandant, Colonel Jim Greenlee while attending a service of remembrance in honour of those who gave their lives at the Battle of the Somme.

Aaron said: “I had no idea I was going to receive the award.

“I was completely oblivious. I was totally buzzing and couldn’t believe it. It’s such an honour.”

Aaron was nominated for the award by Detachment Commander, SMI Arthur Joy, not only for being an exemplary cadet, but also because of his charitable work outside of the ACF, supporting his mum’s welfare initiative Treats for Troops on Tour, an organisation which sends welfare parcels to deployed service men and women around the world.

Detachment Commander, SMI Arthur Joy, said: “This is a well-deserved award to a young man who continues to support our forces.

“He is an inspiration to many, demonstrating the Army Cadet Force values to the full, as well as his selfless commitment and dedication to worthy causes.

“Cadet Aaron Park has fulfilled all the aspects of the Army Cadet Values and has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Aaron’s parents, Charlotte and Derek, said: “It was an honour to be invited to the Somme commemoration service and the presentation ceremony afterwards.

“The award was kept as a big secret from Aaron – he was so surprised.

“As parents and a forces family ourselves we are immensely proud of Aaron’s achievements.”

Aaron receive the player of the year award on Saturday.

Charlotte said: “What can I say, he’s having the best week ever.”

Risedale School headteacher Colin Scott said: “For Aaron to receive two such prestigious awards in one week is absolutely fantastic.

“We know that Aaron’s dedication to the Army Cadet Force will be an inspiration to many of our pupils.

“We applaud his hard work and celebrate his kindness in wanting to help other service families.

“Receiving Player of the Year for his football club in the same week is the icing on the cake – well done Aaron.”