Nijmegen 2024 entry

Hi all happy new year ,

Context : 2024 is my first year being able to go to Nijmegen( went to Cosford for bronze in 2023). My wing has recently split from HBW to Herts and TVW in CE region (I’m in Herts). There has been no talks of any roadmarching activities since the split of the wings.

As now into January when most roadmarching prep for Nijmegen starts and there is no sign of any activities is there anything I could do to get prep for Nijmegen in a different wing .

Also does anyone know who , when , and where to apply to go for Nijmegen.

Many thanks,

A Cdt from 2f

First port of call would be to speak to your Wing Road Marching Officer via your Chain of Command (squadron adult volunteers).

They may have information that just hasn’t yet been cascaded, or know of further details. But do make sure to go via your squadron volunteers first.

From what i understand only 100 cadets can go this year, not sure how those 100 places are being managed though

Odd TV is normally quite a large contingent… i’d definately look at reaching out to the wing road marching officer.

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That 100 places is national, details here - Weekly Brief 26

What’s not yet clear though is how many places each Wing will receive, and what the process is for calculating that split.

It could be based on an even split (which would be a ridiculously small amount per Wing and would probably leave gaps in the team), or based upon the proportion of uptake across a Wing, or some other formulation completely.

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One would hope it’s (just shy of) two teams per region.

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So a couple per Wing if you are lucky :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The Cadet forces had 200 ish spots this year with RAFAC filling atleast 160 of those!

Any reason for the dramatic drop? sorry i dont have access to weekly briefs being a cadet.

From that brief:

Also there’s a general reduction in national level activities this year - in many ways it’s lucky that we’re participating at Nijmegen at all. I’m sure we had a thread about this year’s reductions, but maybe it’s just generally dispersed across several.

This year the RAMC medics were already treating cadets like fragile flowers. how more safe do they want it?

My advice is to get out and do your own training for the Nijmegen March on the roads, building up the distance gradually. Don’t rely on the Air Cadets to give you enough opportunities to build up the fitness for it.
I’ve done Nijmegen twice when I was in the Armed Forces. We could do it during work time as a physical training activity because our units had entered teams for it, not to mention not having to pay a penny for it - one good reason amongst many to join the armed forces. There’s plenty of sports to do for free.

There are a couple of online remote Military Marches out there for which one can get medals and badges if one sends in proof of distance covered by recording it on a GPS watch or phone. Two I do every year were started in Finland during the 2020 pandemic and are now in their fourth year.

These are the two day 25 or 50km Varusteleka Remote Military March (VRMM), organised by the outdoor store of that name based near Helsinki, and the Finnish Reserve Forces (RESUL) four day event.

In the former event one earns a tactical morale patch, and in the latter a medal and certificate. Depending on the total distance covered over the four days, one earns a different coloured clasp for the medal.

Both these marches can be used as motivational training for Nijmegen: the VRMM is usually the last weekend of April and the RESUL later in May. I get up a couple of hours early on the Thurs and Fri mornings to bash out 10km or so before work. Practising early starts after an early bedtime is good training for Nijmegen as well.



December 2022 TK announced no more civvie teams. RAFAC participation to be restricted to Military team participation only - with substantial threat of any staff & cadets involved in forming “unofficial road marching teams” being sanctioned severely - ie kicked out!

TK is reported to have suggested that BMC would be asked if they would consider increasing the number of slots for RAFAC in light of this - seemingly unaware that it’s not as simple as “asking”.

Over the last few years, the number of spaces offered to the cadet forces by BMC has greatly reduced each year. This is because BMC couldn’t fill their annual allocation due to overseas commitments - so made more spaces available to cadets.

Until it all kicked off with Ukraine / Russia, the word was that BMC wanted to be able t9 prioritise slots for service personnel over cadets.

BMC spaces taken up by service personnel presents less headaches for the BMC staff.

There has also been a perceived increase in the number of spaces being taken up by the ACF rather than RAFAC…

First port of call for official information should be your Wing or Region Road Marching Officer of your squadron staff can’t give you any answers.

During the recent update regarding a pause of certain “National Level Activities” including super camps etc, Nijmegen was identified as being moved off of HQAC responsibility and into Region hands.

Since then, I’ve yet to hear from any friends around the country of anything firm - so it will be interesting to hear about what’s in the briefing that @themajor has tagged.

If your Wing or Region has no plans to participate, then the next best option would be to contact your next closest - but bear in mind, there are JUST 100 places! Kent Wing and Middlesex alone historically have been cable of sending that many cadets and staff when civvy teams were allowed!

The alternative might be to go privately as an individual. The youngest participants at Nijmegen are 11…!

The youngest RAFAC cadets on civvy teams was 14, the youngest for military is 16.

Going Military will mean being part of a team and all that goes with it - but having the cost SUBSTANTIALLY SUBSIDISED, with everything all planned out for you - and of course, staying at Kamp Heumensoord.

If you are over 18… you could simply go, by yourself…

The BDWF - British Dutch Walking Fellowship have historically had a strong relationship with RAFAC and have hosted many civvie teams over the years, They block book a sports hall that is segregated by gender and provide very comfortable beds.
Accommodation is available from Saturday to Saturday, with most members arriving Sunday afternoon.
Meals are provided from Monday, to include (continental) Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
A pre-walk foot-taping service as well as three rest points with refreshments (and hot, fresh soup at RP3) and first aid support - plus post walk blister and first aid treatment nightly - and to make life as simple as lossible( they also have shuttle buses to take you to and from the city centre for the start and finish!

You will need to salt range your own travel to and from Nijmegen - either fly to Schipol and get the train to Nijmegen (very easy) or, Eurostar from St Pancras or Folkestone International to Brussels, then change for a train to Nijmegen…

(Although I haven’t investigated it, I’m confident that there is a FlixBus service from London Victoria to Amsterdam and onward to Nijmegen…)

Plane / Eurostar and local train connection both work out quite similar in price at around £150 rtn pp

The BDWF is a not-for-profit or “mutual” organisation, that seeks to minimise costs for its members. Some of these costs won’t be known until fairly late on - but, last year staying from Sunday to Saturday, with food, shuttle buses, Rest Area and first aid support, the price was £470 - having recently spoken to them for an indication of how much it will be this year - they’re hoping to maintain that price is as close to it as possible.

Anyone who has gone military will know that the combined cost of travel and the BDWF package is MUCH dearer than going military.

Your Wing / Region Civ Coms “might” be able to assist with funding in light of the shortfall of military spaces this year - or be able to help assist you with making grant applications for sponsorship.

If you are under 18 and want to go independently…the BDWF will insist that you have a chaperone - be it a parent, guardian or other responsible adult that will walk with you and be responsible for you during your stay.

Here’s the complicated bit… you have to walk a minimum “regulation” distance based on your age and gender. Take a look at the website for details.

Essentially - if you are Male and were born between 2006 and 2008 or 1965 and 1974, then you have to walk the 4x 40km. If you, or someone in your group / “team” was born between 1975 and 2005 and you all want / need to walk together, then you will all have to walk 4x 50km.

There are other age bands for walking 4x 30km and being female also helps - so rather than be detail it all here - just take a look on the website.

The website is very informative - and there is a toggle button at the top of the screen to swap the language from Dutch to English!

Registration via the website for the Vierdaagse Nijmegen March begins in just a few weeks time (expected to be 23rd January or thereabouts) - hence why RAFAC need to hurry up and get info out, so that those not going military can potentially sort their own entry out!

If you have participated and completed a Nijmegen March previously - or - you are entering a team, you will be able to apply in the first registration period (dates tba - expected to be @ 23rd January for 3 weeks).
You will need your previous registration “Walker” number, to apply. If you have forgotten it, the organisers can help you find it.

There is expected to be 47,000 spaces available again. Spaces will go on a first come first served basis. The first registration period will remain open for about 3/4 weeks or until all 47,000 spaces have been filled - which ever comes first. (It’s unlikely to sell out in the first wave, but could…)

Any remaining spaces will then be made available to all-comers, to include first time individual entries; in a second registration period, likely to commence the week after and run for a further 3/4 weeks - or until the 47,000 capacity has been filled.

The ballot process was removed last year.

I hope this gives you some useful information.

Going back to the BDWF - there is usually about 150 members walking at Nijmegen, with members completing everything from their 1st to their 30th event. There will be dozens walking each of the distances; with plenty of friendly faces that you’ll see each day - all of whom are very supportive and encouraging.

Oh - and there’s a terraced sports bar upstairs at the sports bar - the meals are tasty and served in huge portions - you certainly won’t go hungry!


As for training my wife and some friends who will be going to Nijmegen this year will be kicking off our trainng this weekend!

We start with a 10 miler; then meet up once a fortnight for another walk - sticking another 2 miles on each time, to build up towards 25 miles (40k), then continue meeting up and walking 40 each fortnight.

In addition there are several big events you might be interested in…

London Winter Walk - organised by Action Challenge (part of the Ultra Challenge Series). A variety of distances over Saturday and Sunday 27th and 28th Jan, starting and finishing at The Oval, in London (we’re going for the 26 miler on Saturday!)

RAFWARMA Cosford - BMC Qualifier for those trying to bag a space on a military team, with 2x 40k being the target for most, but with badges and gongs for other distances too.

Waendel Walk Weekend, Wellingborough - a variety of distances available both days up to 2x 40k

Pathfinder - RAF Wyton, nr Huntingdon 74km between sunrise and sunset!

Vierdaagse at Nijmegen in The Netherlands…!

And… if you want to wrap the season off, how about The Dodentocht, Bornem, Belgium - 100km in less than 24 hours!


Where was age in civvy teams states??

We stuck to min age of 16, as with Mil teams. That where CAC’s comment on 13 yer old going to Nijmegen came from :man_shrugging:t2:

With the lack of civvy teams and BMC participation for Military teams being scaled back… (to a rumoured 100 pax only) and becoming a matter for Regions… who’s going this year?

Registration opens on a couple of weeks for those that have been before and teams.

Last year I met up with a load of current / former RAFAC staff, that were taking the opportunity to “enjoy” Nijmegen without the added stress / responsibilities of looking after a load of cadets…

It not a rumour. Documentation came out before Christmas confirming funding for 40ish IACE places and 100 Cadets going to Nijmegen as military with hopefully funding. There was no mention on Staffing or the support element. 10 teams of 10 cadets =100 cadets Two staff per team =20 plus a support team RAFAC staff.


I’ve merged two Nij 2024 topics

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Apart from CAC’s comments on his 07 Dec VPN, heard absolutely nothing. How are spaces being allocated? I am sure there are a number of Wings working towards Nijmegen, many will be disappointed if details come out late, as per last year!!

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Im half tempted to apply as a civvi entrant just incase i dont get a staff spot

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