Hungarian Conservative

Cadet Obstacle Course Race Attracts Nearly 900 Students

Cadets during last year's race on 26 May 2023 in Bánk.
Péter Komka/MTI
The event was organized by the Defence Sports Federation established in 2017 to provide young people with unique, military-style pre-training opportunities. This year saw a record number of entries, and the cadet training programme, also launched in 2017 on a voluntary basis for secondary school students, has also set a new record with 149 schools now contracted to the federation.

Fifty-eight secondary schools with 890 students participated in the cadet obstacle course race in Bánk, Nógrád County on Friday. The event was organized as part of the Honvéd Cadet Cup by the Defence Sports Federation and the Hungarian OCR Sport Federation.

István Simicskó, President of the Defence Sports Federation and parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic People’s Party, who served as Minister of Defence from 2015 to 2018, recalled at the event that the sports federation was established in 2017 to provide young people with unique, military-style pre-training opportunities.  He mentioned that this year saw a record number of entries, and the cadet training programme, also launched in 2017 on a voluntary basis for secondary school students, has set a new record with 149 schools now contracted to the federation. Simicskó recalled that the defence law states that the defence of the homeland is a national issue, meaning every Hungarian citizen has a role in it. There is an increasingly professional Hungarian army with ever more modern equipment, and ongoing force development, he reminded.

The task of the Defence Sports Federation is to engage young people with patriotic and defence education, the president explained. He added that the programmes involve young people participating as teams, representing communities, with each having a uniform. The results so far show that nearly half of the young people choose a military career after secondary school as a result of the training and the federation’s involvement. Simicskó emphasized that the defence forces need a steady supply of recruits, but the most important thing is to have healthy children who show determination and a willingness to fight. Cadets acquire additional skills that they would not be able to learn in a normal, average secondary school, he noted.

The Defence Sports Federation organizes shooting and obstacle course competitions, diving and flying camps, manages pilot training, and will launch drone training from September. Simicskó expressed personal joy that his 16-year-old son, Hunor, completed the course on Friday in Bánk. The Bánk competition was held for the fourth time, with the first event involving 286 cadets from 13 secondary schools, the second with 511 competitors from 25 schools, and last year, 656 students from 37 schools participated. The event was also attended by György Nébald, Vice President of the Defence Sports Federation.

The goal of the competition is to expand and enhance the sporting opportunities for young people with defence sports and specific obstacle elements and to strengthen the community within the cadet programme. Competitors, testing their strength and endurance, completed a four-kilometre course with natural and built obstacles, including laser rifle shooting, grenade throwing, water crossings, running along a stream, and forest running on marked paths. Participants had two attempts at each obstacle, and if unsuccessful, they received a penalty time of one, two, or three minutes depending on the difficulty of the obstacle, which was added to their total running time.


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The event was organized by the Defence Sports Federation established in 2017 to provide young people with unique, military-style pre-training opportunities. This year saw a record number of entries, and the cadet training programme, also launched in 2017 on a voluntary basis for secondary school students, has also set a new record with 149 schools now contracted to the federation.

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