This brief article provides an overview of the Pakistan Army’s Army School of Physical Training.
What is the Army School of Physical Training?
The Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) is a defence training establishment of the Pakistan Army.
The ASPT is responsible for delivering physical and allied sports training courses for Pakistan Army personnel and select personnel from friendly countries.
It provides qualification courses for commissioned officers, junior commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers.
What is the Army Physical Training Corps?
The Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) has responsibility for physical training in the Pakistan Army. The ASPT is the spiritual home of the APTC.
History of the Army School of Physical Training
At the end of World War I (1914-1918), three schools of physical training (PT) were established in India – in Pune, Ambala, and Lucknow respectively. The schools at Pune and Ambala were Command PT schools and the school at Lucknow was a smaller one (Manghnani, 2016; Punekar News, 2016).
In the summer of 1923, the Pune school of PT was closed down and the school of PT at Ambala was renamed the Central Army School of Physical Training (CASPT), becoming the school of PT for the whole of India (Manghnani, 2016; Punekar News, 2016). The CASPT’s summer headquarters was located at Kasauli. Ambala was the headquarters of the Ambala District in the Delhi Division of Punjab Province during the British period. The Ambala Cantonment was established in 1843 after the British abandoned its cantonment at Karnal, following the malaria epidemic of 1841-42.
From 1923 to 1940, British students were trained at both Ambala and Kasauli, but only Indian students at Ambala. From 1940 onwards, Indian students could also attend courses at Kasauli (Manghnani, 2016; Punekar News, 2016).
After partition in 1947, the Muslim staff of the school of PT relocated to Pakistan, establishing the Pakistan Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) at Chaklala, a major suburban town of Rawalpindi in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
In August 1948, the ASPT was relocated to Tobe Camp at Kakul in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
In 1978, the ASPT was renamed the Army School of Mountain Warfare and Physical Training (ASMW&PT), relocating within Kakul, Abbottabad.
In September 2000, the ASMW&PT was renamed the Army School of Physical Training (ASPT), as the Mountain Wing of the school had been relocated to Rattu, a small village town located at the Astore district in the Northern Areas now known as Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan.
What Courses does the Army School of Physical Training Offer?
Courses delivered by the ASPT include:
- Basic physical training courses:
- 9-week Officers Physical Training Course (OPTC), usually two per year.
- 8-week Unit Physical Training Instructor Course (UPTIC), usually three per year.
- 6-week Advanced Physical Training Course, usually three per year.
- 8-week Unarmed Combat Course (UCC), usually two per year.
- 3-week Sports Coaching Course, usually four per year.
- Adventure training/sports orientated courses, including:
- 6-week Hang Gliding Course, usually one per year.
- 3-week Para Gliding Course, usually one per year.
- Water skiing.
- Wind surfing.
Candidates for the OPTC should under 28 years of age. Candidates for the UPTIC should be under 25 years of age, be Army Education Cadre 2nd Class, and have Map Reading 2nd Standard.
Students for the Advanced Physical Training Course are nominated by the ASPT based on their performance during the UPTIC.
The ASPT is led by the Commandant, a Colonel (an OF-5 level officer).
Where is the Army School of Physical Training Located?
The ASPT is located in Kakul, Abbottabad, in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
The Pakistan Army has a number of training establishments in the NWFP, including:
- Pakistan Military Academy (PMA);
- Regimental Training Centres; and
- Pakistan Army School of Music.
Manghnani, B. (2016) Indian Army Institute of Physical Training. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.bharatgodigital.com/indian-defence/history-achievements-of-indianarmy-institute-of-physical-training/. [Accessed: 03 September, 2018].
Punekar News (2016) Army Institute of Physical Training. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.punekarnews.in/army-institute-of-physical-training/. [Accessed: 03 September, 2018].