Singapore: More schools start offering fitness training for National Service aspirants

Republic Polytechnic school latest to start workshops for IPPT

50th anniversary of National Service
50th anniversary of National Service Facebook/SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Republic Polytechnic school is now offering fitness programmes for students who want to join the National Service. This comes soon after results showed that students from such programmes had more chance of passing their individual physical proficiency test (IPPT).

Previously, four post-secondary schools joined hands in a 2015 pilot initiative to implement fitness programmes for students before they enlist in the Services. About 906 pre-enlistees from institutions like Anderson Junior College, Temasek Polytechnic, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East and ITE College West were a part of the fitness programmes.

These participants showed better results in the IPPT as nine percent more attained a "Pass with Incentive" in the period between 2015 and 2016, according to the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord), formed by the Ministry of Defence, on January 29, Monday.

Republic Polytechnic and ITE College Central are the latest schools to take part in this initiative, which will include components of the National Physical Fitness Award (Nafta) scheme like a shuttle run, sit and reach and standing broad jump.

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The present training programme, called Fitness 101 workshop and revised by RP staff, includes push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, flutter-kicks, warm-up exercises, circuit training, cool-down exercises and a 2.4 km run.

The workshops will be conducted annually from August to December, coinciding with the time of IPPT. Last year, 300 students participated in it. In 2014, reports emerged that the passing rate polytechnic students were 30 percent, much lower than the 70 or 80 percent rate of junior colleges and 50 percent of the ITEs. Hence, the need for such a programme was felt.

After the participating schools have extended their programmes, Accord is now trying to rope in more schools to conducts such sessions so that aspirants of national Service can get a better head start.

Recently, President Halimah Yacob stressed on the importance of the National Service is protecting and sustaining Singapore's 'survival, success and security'. She urged the citizens of Singapore to keep supporting the NS as they are the "bedrock of our national defense."

This article was first published on January 30, 2018