Die fisieke fiksheid van lotelinge van die Suid–Afrikaanse Weermag, Suid–Afrikaanse Polisie in opleiding en skoliere in standerd tien
Scholtz, Gert Johannes Lindeque
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1. The problem and purpose of this research It is necessary, from time to time, to question the established methods and systems and to test them scientifically. An examination of the contents and methods of fixed systems can indicate any deficiencies or merits present. This dissertation must be seen against this background. The Defence Force and Police have for years been •using the system of basic training one of their main aims being the encouragement of physical fitness. The purpose of this thesis, in the first instance, is to determine whether and to which extent the basic training of the Defence Force and Police College contributes to the promotion of physical fitness; secondly, whether the level of fitness reached compares favourably with that of Standard Ten pupils. Therefore a group of ballotees (recruits) and Police College students were tested at the beginning of their training courses. The same test-programme was repeated on the same people after a certain period had elapsed. A comparison of the results indicates to which extent progress was made. 2. What is Physical Fitness (a) A study of physical fitness proves that "physical fitness" is a term which cannot be defined easily. An average view on this matter discloses that bodily output (working-capacity) is the central constituent of physical fitness. The final view of physical fitness is present in the ability of the individual to perform or execute a certain task without fatigue or weariness; the traits which determine this are those present in the total personality. The following description of physical fitness is accepted as a reliable indication of what physical fitness is; physical fitness is the ability of the human being to perform certain types of physical labour which dynamically involve the large muscle-groups; labour which brings to the proof the strength endurance, speed, power and agility of the body; the ability of the body to adjust easily to these activities and to recover speedily and to still have a reserve-stock of bodily energy to take part in other forms of labour, relaxation or for emergency cases. Good health, a normal stature and normal physiological functions are fundamental requirements for physical fitness. (b) The following aspects are the most important components of physical fitness: medical fitness, strength, endurance, agility, power, co-ordinc1tion and body-build. The judgement of medical fitness must be done by a medical doctor. The classification of body-build unnecessarily complicates the test-battery. When the normal groups are judged, this component does not play such an important role and can therefore be ignored. Other components can be measured by testing. 3. The measurement of physical fitness Different test batteries that measure physical fitness were studied md out of these a choice of tests have been made that are grouped in a battery for the measurement of physical fitness. For the purpose of this study the following test battery for the measurement of physical fitness have been used; ( 1) Chinning .and (2) Dipping for the measurement of the dynamic strength of the arms and shoulder-girdle; (3) Standing broad jump that measures the power of the legs (4) The 100-yard dash as a test for running speed; (5) Bar snap for distance for the measurement of the general co-ordination of the body. (6) The 440-yard run and (7) 800-feet shuttle run for the measurement of general physical endurance; (8) The two-minute sit-ups for the measurement of dynamic strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles, and (9) The Gallagher and Brouha Step Test for the testing of physical fitness and organic fitness. (10) The average achievement of this bittery is the Index of Physical Fitness of the person or group. 4. The method of research (a) This battery was applied during July and September, 1967 on 115 Defence Force recruits of the Artillery and Infantry regiments who were stationed at Potchefstroom. During July, and October, 1967 115 students of the Police College in Pretoria were tested. And during September and October,l967 133 Standard Ten pupils of the “Potchefstroomse Hoër Volkskool" and the “Hoërskool Gimnasium, Potchefstroom" were tested. The same groups of recruits and students were twice tested; pupils were tested only once. Only those who completed both tests fully were considered for the consideration of progress in physical fitness. (b) The raw scores were tabulated and systematized and after that the mean scores, standard deviations and the significance of differences were determined. The results were taken from 5509 tests that were applied to 363 young men. Achievements of the final results of recruits and Police students were used to compile an achievement-scale of both these groups. Results of the groups were converted to percentage units on the achievement-scale and according to this, the groups were compared. Conclusions were made from these results. Results were also compared with those of other studies. According to the results of is dissertation, the following conclusions can be made. 5. Conclusions (1) The basic training course of the South African Defence Force and that of the South African Police College, in respect of physical fitness contributes a powerful, positive stimulus to promote physical fitness. (2) The standard of physical fitness of the young men who go to the South African Defence Force or Police College for training after they have left school, is so poor that they first have to undergo a basic training of at least nine weeks to comply with the demands of the South African Defence Force and Police College, in order to be able to be compared favourably with Standard Ten pupils. (3) The recruit~ and students of the Police College were (when allowed to these institutions) significantly in a poorer physic condition than the pupils in Standard Ten. (4) There were strong indications that the standard of physical fitness of the young men, after they have left school, declines to such an extent, that when they go for Defence Force or Police College training a basic conditioning in physical fitness is absolutely necessary. (5) The Physical Fitness Index of Defence Force recruits after they have completed their basic training and that of boys in Standard Ten differs insignificantly. At the end of his school career, the Standard Ten pupil complies with the demands of the standard of physical fitness required by the Defence Force. (6) The Physical Fitness Index of Police students after they have completed ~ training course of eleven weeks, is significantly better than that of Standard Ten school boys. A.t the end of his school career, the Standard Ten boy does not comply with the demands of the standard of physical fitness required by the South African Police College. An additional programme for the promotion of physical fitness is necessary. (7) The Physical Fitness Index of Police students and of Defence Force recruits differs significantly at the beginning of their different train courses. The difference was in favour of the Police students. After completion of the basic training of the Defence Force recruits (artillery and Infantry) the index of physical fitness of lice students was significantly better than that of Defence Force recruits. By final testing, Police students proved to be significantly more fit than Defence Force recruits. ( 8) After the completion of their basic training, the Artillery and the Infantery regiments of the fence Force differ insignificantly. (9) There is a need for an objective, reliable, valid and simple norm which complies with local requirements and according to which the standard of physical fitness of Army recruits and Police students can be measured. Achievement scales which provide in this need are included in this study.
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