Feeling competitive? As an air cadet you can take part in seven main sports at different levels - athletics, cross country, football, rugby, hockey, netball and swimming. Whatever you do it'll help improve your physical fitness levels and your team skills. If you're good enough at your favourite sport we'll notice, and can help you take it to the next level.
There are frequent tournaments between squadrons, where the best players are selected to represent the wing. The same then happens for the region, with wings competing against each other and the best players making up the regional team. If you make it through each of those selections then you're good. Really good. You'll be at the top of your game and will have a shot at representing the entire cadet corps, nationally and even internationally.
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. And it doesn't stop at the sports we've mentioned.
Each squadron runs loads of 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. Don't worry 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 by far 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. You'll always feel like you want to achieve better results, and we help give you the motivation to push your abilities to the max.
Athletic events are normally held in the summer months and age groups for teams are normally:
The normal athletics events you can take part in are:Track
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.
The courses are normally between a mile-and-a-half to three miles long, and you can compete at all levels, right up to representing the Air Cadets at inter-cadet competitions...if you can stay the distance!
What can we say about the 'beautiful game'? We know loads of you love football, and if you've played it then you'll already 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.
Imagine representing the Air Cadets and competing against other cadet services or external teams, even internationally. It's possible if you keep your eye on the ball.
We offer two forms of football:
The sport where trying is everything! If you can take the bumps, and have a competitive streak, then rugby is going to challenge and reward you. If you've played it before you'll know it's a tough sport...and a tough sport to beat.
If you achieve on the pitch you could take it all the way to represent the Corps. Some regions arrange friendly games at junior level to give you a taster of the bigger tournaments.
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 7s, and all games are played under the rules of the Rugby Football Union.
Rugby helps build confidence, body strength and friendships, so get stuck in.
Calling all female cadets! Hockey may be the most fun you have doing sport in the Air Cadets. It's fast, furious and a real passion for its players. Hockey is a major cadet sport and you'll feel the same competitive spirit when you get out on the pitch. Some of the best friends you'll make during your time in the cadets will be your team mates.
You'll often play other squadrons in smaller tournaments (normally held late in the year) and this is 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.
Hockey in the Air Cadets is governed by the rules of the Hockey Association.
Like hockey, the girls tend to play this sport. Evolving from basketball, netball has come to be seen as its female equivalent but is no less competitive. Within the Air Cadets it's played in the early part of the year and is terrific exercise and a great way to make new friends - netball is a real passion for its players.
Competitions between squadrons are normally open to all age groups, but if you progress to wing level and beyond, it is split into junior and senior girls. If you're really good you could progress all the way through to Corps level. Imagine standing on the court with your team, representing Air Cadets against other cadet organisations - it's opportunities to shine like this that we can offer you.
Netball in the Air Cadets is played under the rules of the All England Netball Association.
You may know it's great exercise, but did you know that swimming is the cadets' most successful event? 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:
You'll do most of your swimming in late autumn each year. It's a great sport where you can compete at all levels. Being in the water is great fun and bound to draw out aquatic skills you never knew you had. Push yourself, try different styles and you may be surprised how good you can be.
Go with the style that's right for you as a freestyle swimmer and learn new strokes and techniques. Here are some of the events you can take part in:
What are you waiting for? Jump in!