Operationally ready national servicemen can now have their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) training sessions at Bishan Park.
Indeed, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has just started a four-month IPT-in-the-park trial for IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT).
NSman Joel Chua, who needs to do the IPT because he failed the 2.4km run and chin-up stations, said the location has benefitted him greatly.
"Having the IPT here in Bishan Park makes it a lot more convenient for me," he explained.
Previously, the 24-year-old IT consultant, who lives in Hougang and works at MacPherson, would have to spend over an hour travelling by bus to the Bedok Fitness & Conditioning Centre (FCC) in Bedok Camp for IPT sessions.
But Mr Chua is now able to cut down the amount of time spent travelling significantly.
"This place is closer to my workplace, and with less time spent travelling, I can now spend more time with my family," he explained.
Two NSmen, who gave their names only as Daryl and Darren, aged 32 and 25 respectively, said the opening up of additional IPT venues makes training more accessible.
"Previously, we had to visit the Khatib FCC for our IPT," said Daryl. "This was very inconvenient as my workplace was at Kallang."
Darren, who works in Bishan, also found the availability of Bishan Park as an IPT venue convenient.He said: "It's easier for me to go for IPT after work. The change of environment is welcome and the air is fresher here."
By introducing more locations for NSmen to undergo IPT, the SAF hopes to encourage and motivate more NSmen to take greater ownership of their fitness.
In addition to the four current IPT locations, NSmen can now take part in sessions held at five other locations around the island.
Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing was present at the inaugural session of the trial IPT session at Bishan Park yesterday evening.
"For the IPPT, we have made various changes over the last couple of years to help NSmen to better prepare for their fitness test and also to make it more convenient for them," he said.
Mr Chua appreciates the fact that SAF is becoming more trusting of NSmen and giving them greater ownership over their own fitness.
This is evident through the introduction of the self-administered IPT trial, which makes use of a mobile application (the Interactive Diet and Activity Tracker) or a wearable fitness band.
These tools, which help to keep track of one's fitness levels based on running or jogging, is currently on trial and limited to 100 NSmen.
Said Mr Chan: "This technology will allow NSmen to discipline themselves and conduct their own training at their own time and convenience.
"We hope all these measures will add together to help NSmen improve their fitness."
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
As of this month, the IPPT window has been extended from nine to 12 months, and all NSmen are required to pass it within this period.
Alternatively, operationally ready national servicemen may choose to sign up for the IPT, a voluntary programme for those wanting to raise their fitness levels.
On their first IPT session, all participants will go through a round of IPPT to gauge their fitness levels.
From there, they will be given a personal target to work towards.
During their 10th session, another IPPT test will be conducted to see how much they have improved. NSmen can exit the scheme if they meet their targets or pass the IPPT.
Currently, IPT is held at the following venues: Khatib Fitness Conditioning Centre (FCC), Maju FCC, Kranji FCC and Bedok FCC
The venues for the IPT-in-the-park trial are as follows: The Promontory@Marina Bay, MOE Co-Curricular Activities Branch (Evans Road), Jurong Central Park, Bishan Park and Punggol Park.
For more information about the IPT schedules, visit ns.sg
This article was first published on September 19, 2014.
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