Although she has been in the British Army for less than four years, Craftsman Shema Wright has made the most of that time: not only has she qualified as a vehicle mechanic, she has also represented the UK Armed Forces (UKAF – the best of the Army, Navy and Air Force combined) at netball and played cricket against members of the West Indies women’s cricket team.
“I didn’t set out to become a vehicle mechanic,” she explained. “When I passed my assessment I was offered lots of choices including engineering and even driving tanks, but I chose the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) and I’m loving it!”
Originally from St. Vincent, Craftsman Wright decided a career in the British Army would be for her when she learned she could play sport alongside her day job. Now life revolves around cricket in the summer and netball in the winter.
“The netball season starts in September so I’m currently in trials again. If I’m successful, I’ll be doing a cycle of training and playing games. Last year I played in a high-profile tournament and was then selected for the Army side. I was also selected to play UKAF netball and thankfully the games didn’t clash with my cricket matches. I’m lucky I can do it all!”
Highlights of her time so far include an Army Netball tour to Las Vegas and a two-week Army Cricket tour to Barbados. “We played in a tournament in Las Vegas and ended up winning the whole thing. This year in Barbados we played and won against the Barbadian national team! I was elated to take pictures with some of the cricketers from the West Indies women’s team.”
Back in the UK, she is continuing to gain qualifications relevant to her career: “It’s really good that we get recognised academic qualifications alongside our training. I’ve got my NVQ in vehicle maintenance, and I did the International Computer Driving Licence course. That costs more than £900 on civi street, but the Army helps out so I only had to pay £20.”
So what’s next for Craftsman Wright? “I’m going on a netball tour to Spain and I want to be promoted to Lance Corporal and take the next step in my career.”
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