Changes to RAFAC Sports


A new IBN has been released regarding Corps Sports. IBN 005 - 2024

I’m still digesting the information fully, but it appears as though all funding for sports in the Corps at a HQ level is stopping at the end of this month.

Regional grants are being stopped at the end of this current financial year (a few weeks away).

Wings & Regions wishing to conduct sports effective as of the end of this month will have to pay for all of it themselves through their own charitable funding.

I’m slightly confused. This goes directly against one of The Air Cadet Charity’s which is sport. This is up to date as of January this year. (When that was signed.)

So is HQ RAFAC saying no to the charity, or the charity saying no to HQ RAFAC?

In Dec 2023 they officially changed the name of the charity, but sports is still a core part of the aims. That was not removed.

The Trustee’s Report will have been reflective upon the FY for which it was written.

It does, however, suggest that there have been changes to the governing document which is not publicly viewable. I think it would be reasonable to question a) if these changes have been formalised and b) for a copy of the minutes of the meeting where the former point occured.

If HQAC are going to change the core Corps aims, we should all at least assure ourselves that this has happened through the correct and proper procedures

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how does this influence clay pigeon shooting and archery?

I believe these are both considered sports rather than “shooting” given how it is managed in our wing at least


Archery is definitely considered a sport rather than shooting. The truth is it’s all a bit TBC - I can see some wings deciding it’s not worth the cost.

Uncertain about CTS.

So reading through the IBN.

  • Sports is only fundable through non-public (I.e. non-MoD) funds.

  • As such each year, HQAC request funding for sports from the Air Cadet charity to fund the national level sports inc transport

  • for financial year 24/25 HQAC are not making this funding request to support national events

  • the funding request being made from HQAC is for delivery of the sports leader award

  • As such there is no change in the charity, it’s just HQAC wants to use their sports grants for something else

  • Regions & Wings can run their own comps but if they want funding they need to put their individual bids into the Air Cadet Charity but this may limit the amount available to that wing/region for other activities/requests.

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These are also my takeaways. Plus the last point will likely lead to an additional administrative burden for the CFAV without necessarily guaranteeing a return on that investment; the bids could always be declined.

Jeepers. Things don’t get any easier do they? :frowning_face:

I can see an argument that the Corps will get a better return (as will the cadets) in the long run by investing money in Sports Leader quals rather than paying for coaches.

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Just wow, as an “outsider” what is happening to the RAFAC (or ACO as I knew it).

Is there any activity left which hasn’t been absolutely gutted? What is retention like amongst cadets post-COVID?

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That’s probably a whole thread of its own!

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Apologies to those keen on sports, however of the many activities that we offer, national sports does seem the most obvious one to chop, with least impact. Most cadets, and even most Sqns and many Wings, won’t notice any difference or miss it at all.


Is it authored by the Sports Officer? I know it used to end up on the WATTO’s desk.

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Just wait for the FoIs for the meeting minutes.

Did it get any funding anyway? Round here sports was always unfunded at all levels. And poorly attended because travelling 6 hours on a coach for a 2 hour swimming contest didn’t sound like fun for most people. Can’t think why.


You’ve had quite a significantly different experience than I, as events such as Wing Athletics are some of our highest participation events, but it’s the wider implications that are the issue.

Funding within wing events may not be too badly impacted, but it could still make it a necessitiy to chop some of the more local activities to save the budget for elsewhere. Consider too how widely spread out some regions are and that many “non-sporty” cadets attend events with a potential upwards representation because of the potential to go on and meet other cadets across a large geographic spread that they otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet (it’s how I ended up getting involved in sports to begin with, and hooking up with a fellow cadet from halfway across the country…) - without central support, many wings simply won’t have the budget for the transport for this, given the steep increases in coach hire costs that we’ve all been bemoaning.

And if budgets at wing level start to be squeezed, why would those wings then continue to contribute to the Air Cadet Charity in the hope of receiving grants in return when they could just choose to keep the money locally and spend on their own cadets?

It’s a seperate charity, more so than ever, so FOI act doesn’t apply AFAIK?

We’ve stopped going to wing athletics as a Sqn for a number of years now even before Covid - to much expenditure of energy & Sqn CFAV time with a lot of sitting around for the cadets which just wastes their time. The cadets have voted with their feet so as it needs to be funded at Sqn level we don’t & save the money for something else.

I think this is sadly the right call but I remember debates from 20years back arguing for this position.

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If the charity is considered to be “wholly owned” by a public authority (eg MOD, RAF or RAFAC) you can FOI it:

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Just to throw an additional factor into the whole wing & region sports mix. With the whole one RAFAC concept being pushed does this mean that the CCF unit should also be invited to wing & region sports?

If so I can see them quickly dominating as you would be able to arrange for the extra training as part of the normal school curriculum - a capacity along with facilities that is not available to the community ATC units.