Chandigarh, Jan 8 (UNI) The Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) would be celebrating its diamond jubilee on January 11 and 12.
On the occasion, APTC would also be holding its reunion, where serving and retired personnel of the Corps would get an opportunity to interact with each other and revive old memories.
The history of the APTC dates back to the British era. During the British rule, prior to the first Great War, there were three separate schools of physical training in India located at Pune, Lucknow and Ambala. These training schools imparted training to Indian and British instructors.
At this time, physical training in India was outdated in comparison with the methods of instruction prevalent at the Physical Training School at Aldershot, UK. With the view to modernising the system, a few officers from the Indian Army were sent to Aldershot to study their systems and incorporate necessary changes in the methods of imparting physical training in India.
One among them was Col Bruce Turnbull, DSO, MC who took the initiative in selecting several Army Physical Training instructors from UK, mainly volunteers, and brought them to India in March 1923.
In the same year, Ambala was selected for the establishment of a physical training school for Indians with its summer headquarters at Kasauli.
The physical fitness of troops, particularly those operating in the Eastern, North Western and Southern regions had assumed crucial significance. Further it was deemed essential that adequate number of trained instructors were available to meet the ever increasing demand.
By 1943, three additional schools were set up at Pune, Shillong and Rawalpindi. Ambala, however, continued to remain the Central Army training School until 1947.
During World War II, the necessity was felt for creating a separate Corps for physical training. So on July one 1946, the Army Physical Training Corps came into existence. However, the Government sanction for raising of Army Physical Training Corps were issued on January 11 1947, therefore the Corps day is celebrated on this day.
The Army School of Physical Training moved from Ambala to Poona during the Christmas of 1947 and was initially housed at Wanworie on Fergussion road. In January 1951 it shifted to its present location at Eve's Estate, near Ram Tekadi, Pune.
In the past six decades of its existence, the Corps has proved its worth, and the physical performance of officers and jawans of the Indian Army in the various wars and operations. The recapture of heights and salients by the troops during Kargil operations bear testimony to their physical and mental toughness.
The Army Physical Training Corps has played a very important role in conditioning defence personnel to perform at such levels of physical and mental robustness. The Corps has continually kept pace with the changing needs of the times by introducing new programmes and re-engineering the old ones.
The Motto of the Corps "Sound Mind in a Healthy Body" encompasses both physical and mental health. The Corps had introduced Yoga in its curriculum about two decades back and qualified instructors are being made available to meet the needs of the Army.
UNI HS JS1236