(Pictured: V.Ships Cadet Training Manager, Lee Clarke, with Matthew Gigg)
Matthew Gigg, a V.Ships cadet, has been named as this year’s winner of the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Officer Trainee of the Year award.
Matthew was presented with the award by the Second Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Anthony Radakin at a ceremony at Trinity House in London on Wednesday 10 October. Representatives from his college, sponsors and current employers were present at the event along with his family.
The seven-strong award nomination panel, which included the Maritime and Coastguard Agency acting chief examiner and the director of Maritime training at Trinity House, paid tribute to Matthew’s academic prowess and personal achievements.
The panel also recognised his achievements in the following categories:
- Academic progress
- Professional progress
- Being an ambassador for and actively promoting careers at sea
- Outstanding contribution to their class
- Overcoming personal difficulties or adversity in order to complete training
Matthew’s training was not without its challenges. He was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness in 2017 when he still had more than a year to go in his cadetship.
He said: “This was my challenge, not my holdback. My training experience was very different in comparison to other people’s, but I didn’t let that stop me from achieving my goals. Many folks would probably have given up or taken a year out. However, all I cared about was to graduate and attend the passing out ceremony with my cohort, which, to my delight, I achieved. I truly feel I started the cadetship as a 24-year-old boy and graduated as a 27-year-old man.”
Lee Clarke, Cadet training manager says: “Matthew has continually done V.Ships and himself proud and this award is in recognition of that and is determination and passion for the maritime industry. Throughout his studies, he has challenged himself, delivered an exceptional performance and has been a true ambassador to the maritime industry.”
Matthew is the second Cadet from Isle of Man Maritime Member, V.Ships, to have been given an award in the last four months, following Ruairi O’Connor being awarded ‘Top Graduating Cadet for 2018’ in July earlier this year. These awards are not only a great achievement for the respective individuals but are also a testament to the hard work and support that V.Ships offers all of its Cadets.