The Role of Gymnastics in the Royal Army School of Physical Training?

Research Paper Title

Role of Gymnastics in the Army School of Physical Training.


As a result of a single spinal injury seen at Frimley Park Hospital, the researchers reviewed the injuries recorded at the Army School of Physical Training since December 1996.


This was a retrospective review of all acute accidents and injuries recorded in the Accident Book since its inception.


Over 75% of the injuries that were serious enough to result in soldiers having their training terminated were as a direct result of gymnastic events such as vaulting, trampolining and somersaults. These events were also responsible for most of the small number of career-threatening injuries.


This raises questions about the inclusion of gymnastic events in course training programmes, especially when considering its relevance to army training in general.

My Thoughts

I attended my PTI course at the, now, Royal Army School of Physical Training between January and February 1996.  I am surprised at the results as I honestly do not remember anyone being injured during gymnastics (other than minor bumps and falls due to the nature of gymnastics). Gymnastics taught me important lessons such as the need to warm-up properly & correctly (especially around the deltoids), manual handling (moving of kit) and standing-in (safety rep for individuals completing the gymnastic movement). Of course you need to read the full paper as 75% sounds bad, but in reality the numbers are low.


Griffiths, D.E., Hargrove, R. & Clasper, J. (2006) Role of Gymnastics in the Army School of Physical Training. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. 88(5), pp.459-461.


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