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St John's top youth put life saving skills to the test

St John’s youth cadets prove you’re never too young to learn how to save lives.

The top 72 St John youth cadets from around the country will converge in Auckland this weekend to demonstrate their clinical excellence in CPR and first aid, leadership and decision-making skills during the annual St John National Youth Festival.

More than 150 teenagers, youth leaders and volunteers will participate in the Festival, being hosted at King’s College in Auckland from 13 – 16 April. The highlight of the event is competition day at Eden Park on Sunday 14 April, where the best youth cadets out of more than six thousand members from across the country, will compete in a range of challenges.

"Our cadets have trained extremely hard in all disciplines to earn their spot in the competition and we are so proud of them. This is a showcase of our youth at their best," says Sarah Manley, St John Director of Community Health Services.

The competitors, aged between 15 and 18 years old, will compete individually or in teams of four. They will complete a range of tasks which test their skills in drill and inspection, first aid and responding to an emergency, as well as communication.

"Our Youth Programme is designed to coach and nurture young people into becoming competent leaders; we equip them with life saving first aid skills, which contributes to our goal of building community resilience. Our cadets also develop their decision making skills and many of them have been able to apply their knowledge in real life situations," says Ms Manley.

This is exemplified by 18 year old Christchurch teenager, Dom Anisy – St John’s National Cadet of the Year. Dom joined the St John Youth Programme when he was six years old and went on to lead his Christchurch team to victory during last year's National Youth Festival, taking home the Barclay Memorial Shield for the Champion Team. He can name several cases where his training has come in handy, including incidents at a church funeral, his local mall and at high school.

"There was one lunchtime at school when a teacher called for me and my best friend to help another student, who had been pushed into a brick wall. He was conscious but he wasn't really responding, so I did what I had learned to do. A teacher called 111 for an ambulance and I was given the phone to speak to the call handler. When the crew arrived, I was able to give them the information they needed," recalls Dom, who will be cheering on his comrades on competition day.

This weekend’s event will for the first time, see our youth cadets take over St John’s Instagram page to share photos and stories throughout the festival.

A prize-giving ceremony will be held on Sunday evening, to recognise the top performing cadets from the competition.

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