Updated: 07/03/2014 19:35

Personal trainers for your children before enlistment?

Personal trainers for your children before enlistment?

Hiring personal trainers for your sons to help them prepare for National Service? 

This seems to be the latest trend. 

Our news desk with more. 

46 year-old Khalid Awang's eldest son is enlisting in three years time. 

To prepare his 17 year-old son for National Service, he has plans to engage a personal trainer for him. 

"When we talk about going NS, it's just more about physical fitness, there's a lot of discipline involved, you need to be very systematic. So in that sense, i felt that it's important for him to get exposed to that and also build on his endurance level and mental fitness besides physical fitness as well. It's important for me to make sure that he's also medically fit." 

Personal fitness instructors we spoke to say more parents are hiring them to prepare their sons for enlistment. 

Personal trainer, Rick Wong, says he used to get fewer than 10 calls a year enquiring about pre-enlistees training. 

But now it has more than doubled. 

"Parents are concerned of their sons fitness level. They want them to have a degree of ruggedness and preparation going to NS. So they usually contact us about 6 to 9 months before their enlistment. And put 
them through a certain programme so they can get ready for NS." 

Mr Wong says one of the reasons is that parents want their children to have a shorter NS stint. 

Before enlistment, pre-enlistees are required to take the NAPFA test.

If they fail to attain a silver award at the NAPFA test, they have to start National Service earlier than those who managed at least a silver. 

And it's not just the parents who are anxious. 

20 year old, Lee Shiou Ren started training with his personal instructor two months ago, and hopes to get in shape before enlisting in November. 

"I don't want to struggle during training in NS, I want to be able to be ahead of my peers. Because I'm in a so-called fat camp and I'm borderline obese. Basically I want to get back in shape." 

It can cost up to a hundred dollars for a one-hour session. 

Does this mean that the lower-income will be at a disadvantage? 

Member of Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence, Ellen Lee, says there's no cause for concern as it simply means parents and pre-enlistees are taking NS more seriously. 

-By Lim Jia Qi

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