Physical fitness has been the bedrock for the operational readiness of any army, at any time in any clime. This is especially so for the Indian Army which has been holding its own under the severest climatic conditions and variegated terrain obtaining on our borders. The Army Physical Training Corps and the Army Institute of Physical Training have been unflinchingly training and conditioning all ranks of the army to perform at such levels of excellence under the most trying conditions. The premier institute of Physical Training in Indian Army has shown seamless transition in incorporating modern fitness methods over the decades.
The history of Army Institute of Physical Training dates back to 1923. With the reorganisation of physical fitness training in India at the end of the Great War, three physical training schools were established. Schools at Pune and Ambala were Command PT schools and the school at Lucknow was a smaller one. In the summer of 1923, the Pune school was closed down as a major physical training centre and the school at Ambala became the Central Army School of Physical Training for the whole of India with its summer headquarters at Kasauli. From 1923 to 1940, Indian and British students were taught in Ambala and only British students in Kasuali. However from 1940, courses for Indian students were also organized at Kasuali.
After the partition, the Central Army School of Physical Training moved from Ambala to Wanoworie, Pune during the Christmas of 1947 and finally to its current and permanent location- Eve’s Estate in Jan 1951. Initially, Physical Training courses for all ranks, Boxing and Athletics courses were conducted at the school.
The school saw massive expansion of infrastructure and courses over the years. Basketball, Volleyball, Yoga, Karate, Swimming & Life Saving, Refresher Refereeing and Judging Courses were added to the curricula with accompanying improvement in sports & PT infrastructure. The school was rechristened as Army Institute of Physical Training on 01 Jun 2005. The Institute has produced elite sportsmen including Arjuna and Dronacharya awardees who have done the Armed Forces and Nation proud by winning medals at various International platforms with participation in Olympics. Over the years, the institute has also been training soldiers of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force as well as personnel from Para Military Forces, Central Police Organisations and State Police Forces.
Army Gymnastics Node was also established at AIPT in 2004. Gymnasts from five disciplines- artistic, aerobic, acrobatic, tumbling & trampoline-trained at AIPT. The node has produced gymnasts of International repute who have done the forces proud by bringing medals at Services, National & International level, year after year. Last year, gymnasts across all disciplines less artistic have been shifted to different Regimental Centre. The focus of the Node now, is to solely concentrate on artistic gymnastics that forms part of Olympic events & World Championships. The artistic team of the Node won the Services Championship last year & the National championship in February this year after a gap of 27 years.