Forum: Letting pre-enlistees use Safra gyms may cause overcrowding

People working out at a gym in Punggol Safra, on Sept 2, 2018.
People working out at a gym in Punggol Safra, on Sept 2, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Pre-Enlistees Exercise Programme for National Service (Prep4NS) should be reviewed further before it is implemented (Pre-enlistees for NS get free access to 6 Safra gyms, Oct 4), to ensure that public money is well spent, and that the programme does not come at the expense of existing EnergyOne gym members.

Since the programme is free, pre-enlistees may apply for it but not turn up at the gym.

Are there any conditions that pre-enlistees have to meet, such as a minimum number of hours spent using the gym?

The Defence Ministry (Mindef) did not reveal how much it is paying Safra for the use of the gyms.

If this is less than what existing gym members are paying, aren't existing gym members effectively subsidising the pre-enlistees?

As this is a national programme, Mindef should arrange to use HomeTeamNS and ActiveSG gyms as well, so as to spread pre-enlistees out and not overcrowd Safra gyms.

By extending the opening hours of EnergyOne gyms, pushing the closing time from the present 10.30pm to 1am, Mindef and Safra should also be mindful of the possibility of under-utilisation.

As this is a national programme, Mindef should arrange to use HomeTeamNS and ActiveSG gyms as well, so as to spread pre-enlistees out and not overcrowd Safra gyms.

While the Prep4NS programme is useful, Mindef must consider the possible overcrowding of the gyms and inconvenience caused to existing gym members.

The gyms are already reserved for operationally ready national servicemen to take the Individual Physical Proficiency Test every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'Letting pre-enlistees use Safra gyms may cause overcrowding'. Print Edition | Subscribe