A NEW base has opened for navy cadets amid a boom in popularity.

The Nautical Training Corps (NTC) opened its base in Portslade last night, which saw more than 40 youngsters apply for a spot in the club.

The new unit is named T.S Ranger N.T.C.

Cadets can try their hand at sailing, archery, powerboating, climbing and even shooting as Captain Chris Clayton helps young people in the community “develop their full potential”.

“It gives them opportunities they might not be able to do if they didn’t come and join a group,” said Capt Clayton, chief of staff at the NTC.

“It’s a real mixture of things that they wouldn’t necessarily get at somewhere like a youth club. It’s a bit more of an in-depth education.

“The take up on our new group in Portslade has been incredible.”

The cadets are aged between eight and 16, with many able to take on the Duke of Edinburgh award through the club.

The Argus: A group of cadets preparing for a challengeA group of cadets preparing for a challenge

There are three NTC groups already in Brighton which are hugely successful, but the prospects that can come after the project can take the cadets around the world.

“Cadets work through workbooks which will give them the opportunity to learn skills that would be used in the Royal Navy,” said Capt Clayton.

“We don’t have any direct links with them, but we can speak to the career’s office.

“There’s a whole range of seamanship training, nautical-based skills in terms of boating, phonetic alphabet, morse code, which we teach the youngsters which would benefit them not only for a career in the Royal Navy, but in life in general.”

The NTC runs exclusively in the South East of England, and is funded entirely by donations and community efforts.

Cadets are encouraged to progress through the ranks, based on those used in the Royal navy, which leads to instructor and command statuses.

“Our units use a structured training programme based around a nautical theme,” the NTC’s website says.

“We encourage young people to stretch and develop themselves.

“Theoretical knowledge means little unless you are able to use it – young people are encouraged to use their new skills in a practical way.”