August 19th 2013

Swadlincote Air Cadets take part in military physical fitness session

Thursday 15 August 2013, saw the cadets of 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron (Sqn) Air Training Corps (ATC) take part in a physical fitness session, led by Private Matt Cresswell 3rd Battalion Mercian Regiment, who was an ex-cadet of the Squadron some 5 years ago.


Private Cresswell of 3rd Battalion Mercian Regiment, aims to help keep the fitness levels of 1211 Sqn up with a Thursday night physical fitness (PT) session and felt that all participants worked hard and were very enthusiastic about the task in hand.

During a short break throughout the session, Cadet (Cdt) Youles, aged 14 years, said: “It is fun and enjoyable but also very difficult. I am pleased with myself as I feel I have done quite well too keep up with the older cadets and proud to have taken part in a real military fitness session and would consider a career in the military when I have finished school.”

At the beginning of the session the cadets were split into four small groups of varying ages and abilities, where they took part in a short warm up before commencing circuit training on the field. During this event, the cadets were closely observed doing sit ups, press ups and burpees, moving between each “station” once they had done each exercise for a solid 2 minutes each. The cadets then found themselves running and leopard crawling to and from trees at the other end of the field, being careful not too interrupt a local football team training session also using the field at the same time.

The favourite part of the session for many of the cadets came after the short break as they were tasked too build a self-standing “den” using only 3 chairs, some rope and any coats or jackets the cadets had bought outside with them. As this was a military physical fitness session, it was never going to be easy. Therefore, they were also given a time limit of 5 minutes to complete this task, in which time they had to both plan and execute their aim and also had to ensure that every member of their team were able to fit inside their den in order for their task to become a success.

As this task was completed in teams, there was always going to be a winning and a loosing team. The winning team was led by Swadlincote Squadron’s own Flight Sergeant Louis Mansfield, aged 18 years, and their prize for such an achievement was too watch the remaining 3 teams carry all the equipment back over to the Squadron Headquarters from the field on their own.

On the whole, the session was a success and fun was had by all involved. 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn look forward to welcoming Private Cresswell back to the Squadron when he is next in the area for a second physical fitness training session.

1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn opens its doors four times a year to prospective new cadets, male and female aged from 13 to 17 years.

For more information on joining the air cadet organisation in your area, please contact the Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson at or by phone on (01283) 212629 or visit the Squadron website at