By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Shai-Hills

As part of the training schedule of the Army Recruits Training School (ARTS) for the Basic Infantry Training Course 1 of 2019 (BITC 1 2019), 563 recruits have participated in a thrilling and keenly contested cross-country competition, with the principal aim of testing endurance levels of recruits, as well as to instill the spirit of healthy competition in them.

The contest took place on Friday, the 15th of November, 2019, with the recruits, in three Companies – Alpha, Bravo and Charlie – covering a distance of 12 kilometers (12 km), from the centre of the School to the outskirts of Doryimu and back, in the Shai-Osudoku District, in the Greater Accra Region.

The Guest-of-Honour for the occasion, the Director in-charge of Physical Training, Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) – Colonel (Col) RK Akoto, in a speech, commended the recruits for their output, but urged them to maintain a good fitness level, even at their units, when they are eventually posted.

Col Akoto informed the recruits, who have done almost three months, since arriving at the school, that they are being taken through a series of carefully crafted, complementary and reinforcement training activities, which are designed to produce among other things, well-trained, highly motivated, physically and mentally robust soldiers, who are capable of performing any task, when called upon.

“It is for this reason that the basic infantry course, has been designed to be physically and mentally challenging”, Col Akoto stated, informing that all over the world, even in the advent of technological advancements, physical fitness places high premium position in training.

Col Akoto stated that during the screening and selection process of recruits, GAF has the opportunity to confirm some requirements, such as the Academic Age, Height and others, however, physical fitness, resilience, endurance and discipline, can only be confirmed through training.

The Guest of Honour bemoaned current trends in GAF, where young soldiers are unable to pass Basic Fitness Tests (BFT) in their units and said that it is a serious indictment on the school, further opining that there is a difference between being healthy and being physically fit.

At the close of the competition, Recruit Gyimah Razak of Bravo Company was 2nd Runner-Up with a time of 42:53 minutes, Recruit Asede Steven of Charlie Company was 1st Runner-Up with 42:37 minutes, Over All Best Individual went to Recruit Attriki Patrick, with 42:35 minutes and the Best Female to Recruit Ohemeng Faustina with 52:14 minutes.

For the Company awards, the 3rd place was Charlie Coy with 24194 points, Alpha Coy was 2nd with 22766 points whiles Bravo topped with 20836 points.

Present at the event were the Commanding Officer, ARTS – Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Larbi Sarpong Gyadu, his Second-In-Command (2-I-C) – Major Agbemafle, Training Officer – Major Danful, his deputy – Captain Baah-Tsiquaye, other officers, the training WOs and the Physical Training Instructors (PTIs), amongst others.

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