Sport

Mixing work and play is at the heart of the Air Cadets. Getting stuck into sport is fun, and you’ll build friendships and learn how to use your strengths to best effect in a team. There are many different sport activities. These could include 5-a-side, table tennis, volleyball, racquet sports or many others. You’ll be playing for fun but we’ll encourage you to unleash your competitive side.

The Air Cadet Organisation focuses on seven main sports at different levels; athletics, cross-country, football, rugby, hockey, netball and swimming.

We support a fit and healthy life-style and enjoying what you do, so sport has a vital part to play in achieving the squadron goals. The structure of the ACO means that we are able to sustain a framework of healthy competitiveness within which cadets of all levels of ability can improve and record their achievements.

497 Squadron cadets participate in numerous tournaments between squadrons, where the best players are selected to represent the wing. A strong performance at Wing level may lead to Cadets being  selected for the region. Those cadets representing the Wing and Region are awarded  a coveted Wing or Regional ‘Blue’ to mark their achievement.

At Regional level, selection is possible to represent the entire cadet corps, nationally and even internationally.

If you don’t think sport is your strength. You don’t have to be the next Olympic star, just take the opportunities and enjoy yourself!

 

Athletics is one of the most popular sport that cadets participate in. It’s not surprising when it offers so many options, from sprinting to high jump to discus- throwing. Cadets compete against their peers at wing, regional and national levels.

If you are really good at a particular sport you may be chosen to represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or even the Central and East Region and gain the coveted Wing and Regional ‘Blue’. Both the Wing and Region hold annual athletics days/championships.

Athletic events are normally held in the summer months and age groups for teams are normally:

  • Under 15 Boys
  • Under 17 Men
  • Junior Men
  • Under 15 Girls
  • Junior Women

The normal athletics events you can take part in are:

Track

  • 100 metres
  • 200 metres
  • 400 metres
  • 800 metres
  • 1500 metres
  • 4 x 100 metres relay

Field

  • High jump
  • Long jump
  • Javelin
  • Discus
  • Shot put

All our events are governed by the rules of the UK Athletics Association.

There is nothing quite like cross country running. Each run is different – even if you know the course the weather can quickly make things more challenging. You have to use real skill to navigate different terrains (that aren’t always ideal for running) to stay ahead of the pack!

If you have never tried it before and are good at long-distance track and road running, this sport may be for you.

The sport in usually for individuals and occasionally teams who run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course is typically 1.5–3 miles long and may include surfaces of grass, earth, woodland, open fields, hills, flat ground, sand and sometimes gravel.

Both male and female cadets can compete in our cross country events, which usually takes place during winter/spring. Accordingly they can include weather conditions of rain, sleet, snow or hail not to mention very variable temperatures. Cross-country running can be either an individual or team sport; runners are judged on individual times and teams by a points-scoring method. It is often the first sport of the year for the Wing/Region and is competed at by Junior and Senior Girls, and Junior, Youth and Senior Boys.

If you are a strong competitor you may be chosen to represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or even the Central and East Region and gain the coveted Wing and Regional ‘Blue’. Both the Wing and Region hold annual athletics days/championships.

Football is a firm favorite and those who’ve played it will know all about being a ‘team player’. Working together as a team, and knowing your individual strengths, is everything – just like being an air cadet.

We offer two forms of football:

11-a-side
Only played by male cadets, we use official FA rules. Competitions are run, mainly around the Autumn, at both junior and senior levels with the senior age group being able to play right up to Corps level.

5-a-side
Played by both male and female cadets, this is really popular (though participation by females is reliant on adequate changing facilities at venues). . he boys’ competition, usually at the beginning of the year, is split into juniors and seniors, though this is normally only played up to region level.

All Wings within the ATC operate tournaments between their Squadrons, which allow the best players to be selected to represent the Wing. The same applies to the Region, with Wings competing against each other and the best players being able to make up the Regional team and so on up to Corps level, where Cadets can compete against other Cadet Services and other external teams – sometimes to International level. If you are a strong competitor and represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or even the Central and East Region and gain the coveted Wing and Regional ‘Blue’. Both the Wing and Region hold soccer competitions. Trials usually take place in March. Exceptional players who go on to represent the Corps earn Corps ‘Colours’.

Hockey is a popular fun sport in the Air Cadets and played by male and female cadets. Hockey is a major cadet sport and you’ll feel the same competitive spirit when you get out on the pitch.

You’ll can play in matches with other squadrons and attend trials (normally held in the Spring) where the stars of the sport are spotted and put into teams to represent the Wing, Region and even the Corps – the highest level, representing the Air Cadets at National Cadet competitions. Those chosen to represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or Central and East Region gain a coveted Wing/Regional ‘Blue’ and can achieve National ‘Colours’, if they play for the Corps.

Hockey in the Air Cadets is governed by the rules of the Hockey Association.

Netball within the Air Cadets is played by female cadets, and is played in the early part of the year where players can progress all the way through to Corps level.

The competition at Squadron level is normally open to all age groups, but once at Wing level and beyond, it is split into Junior and Senior girls. The sport is played under the rules of the All England Netball Association.

Trials for the Wing and Region take place early in the Spring with most matches being played in the spring/summer. Like other sports, if you are a strong competitor and represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or even the Central and East Region and gain the coveted Wing and Regional ‘Blue’. Exceptional players can go on to represent the Corps and earn Corps ‘Colours

If you achieve on the pitch you could take it all the way to represent the Corps. Rugby helps build confidence, stamina, body strength and friendships.

Rugby is only played by male cadets and at all levels. All games are played under the rules of the Rugby Football Union.

Games are normally played in late autumn to early winter, with the Corps games being in the early new year. Some Wings also play Rugby 7’s.

Trials for the Wing and Region take place early in the Spring with most matches being played in the Autumn,/Winter. Corps’ games usually take place in the early New Year.

If you are a strong competitor and represent the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing or even the Central and East Region and gain the coveted Wing and Regional ‘Blue’. Exceptional players can go on to represent the Corps and earn Corps ‘Colours’.

The ATC have won the last 29 annual tri-service meetings – beating both the Army and Navy! Swimming activities are divided into four age groups:

Junior Girls
Senior Girls
Junior Boys
Senior Boys
Most swimming activities take place in late autumn each year. It’s a great sport where you can compete at all levels. Here are some of the events you can take part in:

Freestyle
Back stroke
Breast stroke
Butterfly
Individual medley
Medley relay
Freestyle relay
To encourage cadets to improve their swimming standards and fitness; Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Swimming Competence Certificates can be achieved under strict conditions.

Basic Swimming Competence Certificate For Air Cadets

To qualify for this certificate personnel are required to demonstrate Swimming Competence as follows:
Swim 50 metres without rest, using any recognised single swimming stroke.
Remain afloat for 2 minutes in a restricted area of water, with a maximum radius of 2 metres.
Exit the pool at a point where the candidate is out of depth without an aid. However, in locations where there is a considerable distance between the water and poolside, as found in some service pools, some assistance may be given at the examiner’s discretion.
All elements of the demonstration are to be performed consecutively in the order shown above, in standard swimwear.

Intermediate Swimming Competence Certificate For Air Cadets

To qualify for this certificate personnel are required to demonstrate Swimming Competence as follows:

Swim 100 metres – 50 metres of which must be on the back and 50 metres on the front using a recognised swimming stroke.
Surface dive to and retrieve an object from the deepest part of the pool.
Swim 25 metres to a casualty (conscious weak swimmer) and effect a non-contact tow over 25 metres.
Remain afloat for 3 minutes in a restricted area (2 metres) adopting the H.E.L.P position.
All elements of the demonstration are to be performed consecutively in a T-shirt (or similar attire) and standard swimwear.

Advanced Swimming Competence Certificate For Air Cadets

To qualify for this certificate cadets are required to demonstrate Swimming Competence as follows:

Enter deep water by a straddle jump.
Swim continuously 300 metres using recognised swimming strokes; change of strokes to take place every 100 metres.
Swim 20 metres to a (conscious) casualty in 20 seconds or less and effect a contact tow over 20 metres and assist the casualty to land.
Retrieve an object from the deepest part of the pool and upon surfacing, tow a live casualty 5 metre to safety in deep water. Effect a team lift with assistants (2) to lift the casualty onto the poolside.
Swim 50 metres in 60 seconds or less.
All elements of the test are to be carried out in clothing (eg. overalls or tee-shirt and trousers) without footwear, and not more than 2 minutes rest is permitted between sections b-e.

General

The tests for all certificates should if possible be carried out under the direct supervision of a member of the RAF Physical Education staff (except for the Basic Competency Certificate when the test may be conducted by Sqn Staff). Where this is not possible for the Intermediate and Advanced Certificates, HQ AC will accept a certification signed by a suitably qualified life-saver, or swimming teacher whose qualifications are to be stated, (e.g. RLSS Pool Lifeguard or equivalent, ASA Teachers Certificate for Swimming), and who are aged 18 years or over.

On Annual and other RAF Camps it may be possible for cadets to obtain RAF swimming proficiency certificates.

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