Cadets from across the region participated in a sports day last week in Castlegar.

Cadets from across the region participated in a sports day last week in Castlegar.

Cadets from across the Kootenays gathered in Castlegar for a sports weekend

Sea, Army and Air Cadets gathered in Castlegar last week for a sports weekend.

Sea, Army and Air Cadets from across the Kootenays gathered in Castlegar this week for a sports weekend.

About 160 cadets from Grand Forks, Trail, Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, Cranbrook, Fernie, Invermere, Golden and Sparwood participated in a variety of activities designed to test, challenge and improve their physical fitness levels.

Every cadet unit is required to go through a fitness assessment at least once a year, but that was just one part of the packed weekend.

Events included running, strength challenges, orienteering, team sports and swimming.

The expected outcomes for each test are based on a person’s age and gender. In order to earn a physical fitness badge, which can be worn for one year, cadets must reach the bronze, silver, gold or excellence levels for each test. Many cadets set goals as to what they want to accomplish during the weekend.

While still short of breath from a running challenge on Saturday, Castlegar cadet Tim Mclachlan took the time to explain how the event works and his feelings about his performance. The event features a number of 20 metre sprints timed by a buzzer that forces runners to get faster as the challenge progresses. As soon as a runner misses beating the buzzer twice in a row, they are required to drop out.

Mclachlan had already received the highest rating he could on three other events Saturday morning, so even though he was one of the last runners left, he was disappointed that he missed reaching the goal he had set for himself. “I was disappointed,” he said. “But I’ll just work harder tomorrow.”

Mclachlan and the other cadets got a second chance to complete their tasks and reach their goals on Sunday after spending Saturday night sleeping in the Selkirk College gym.