National Physical Fitness Award

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The National Physical Fitness Award/Assessment (NAPFA) Scheme is a test of physical fitness for Singaporeans as part of Singapore's Sports For Life programme. NAPFA was launched in January 1982 as a standardised assessment of overall fitness for the general population and to stimulate interest in physical fitness.[1]

Schools within Singapore's primary and secondary education system are required to participate in NAPFA award tests each year, in April for secondary schools and in August for primary schools respectively. It is one of the three criteria for banding for the Trim and Fit (TAF) Awards, other than the fitness index and the percentage of overweight students. Singaporeans studying within Singapore's tertiary education system, or those who have graduated from the education system are not required to participate, but are strongly encouraged to do so.

Despite the requirement for mandatory participation, failing to achieve at least a passing grade (E) usually does not carry any academic consequences for primary and secondary school students, although students are still strongly encouraged to pass. Exceptions include sports-based schools such as the Singapore Sports School, and might yield non-academic consequences, such as the requirement to further retake the tests or the required participation in the Trim and Fit programme.

A minimum of a silver grade allows Singaporean males who have reached the age of 18 to perform just 9-weeks of Basic Military Training (BMT) in their National Service (NS) period, instead of the usual 17-weeks if the silver grade is not attained.[2] Those without at least a NAPFA Silver have to undergo an extra eight-week Physical Training Phase (PTP) prior to their nine-week BMT. In addition, medically fit servicemen who have attained a silver grade enjoy a two-month exemption at the end of their full-time NS period because exemption from PTP would mean a reduction of two months of NS, making the entire NS shortened to one year and ten months.[3]

According to data from the Ministry of Education, the percentage of students passing NAPFA has been increasing steadily over the years, from 58% in 1992 to 74% in 1998, and further to 80% in 2007.[4]

Testing[edit]

NAPFA involves a series of five stations and a 2.4-km Walk-Run (1.5-mile Walk-Run) for secondary school students or a 1.6-km Walk-Run (1-mile Walk-Run) for primary school students. All of the station tests are attempted on the same day, with a 2–5 minute rest period permitted between stations. Under certain circumstances, the Walk-Run item may be attempted on a different day, although sometimes a 2-week window limit is set.

The test items are:

  1. Sit-ups: Maximum in one minute
  2. Pull-ups (secondary schools)/Push-ups (ITE/Poly/JC/MI) (for males 15 years old and above): Maximum in half-a-minute
  3. Inclined Pull-ups (for females and males below 15 years old): Maximum in half-a-minute
  4. Sit-and-Reach: Maximum distance
  5. Shuttle Run: Minimum time for two laps of fixed distance
  6. 2.4-km Run (1.5-mile Run) [1.6-km Run (1-mile run) for primary schools]: Minimum time on firm and level surface

Performances are then compared to a chart and the grades from A to F for each test item. An A grade constitutes excellent performance and an E grade constitutes barely passing. On the other hand, an F grade is an alternate term that the participant has failed that test item.

There are points awarded for each station based on the grades that the participant gets for the particular station.

The points are then totalled up, resulting in either of three grades, the highest being Distinction. This grading system was introduced in 2014, replacing the earlier Gold-Silver-Bronze system.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Teo, Cheng Wee (2007-03-18), "Unfit", The Straits Times: L6 
  2. ^ Ministry of Defence, Singapore (2008), iPrepNS: NAPFA Test, retrieved 2008-08-15 
  3. ^ Teo, Chee Hean (2004-06-16), "Why NS stint can be shorter ...", The Straits Times: H2 
  4. ^ Tan, Judith (2008-07-01), "Today's NSmen – more fit but less tough?", The Straits Times: 1–2 

External links[edit]