NZDF

NZDF-Led Course Participants Eager to Put Training into Practise

1 June 2018

Twenty-two soldiers and police from six South West Pacific countries are eager to put into practise what they learnt at a physical training instructors’ course designed and led by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Twenty-two soldiers and police from six South West Pacific countries are eager to put into practise what they learnt at a physical training instructors’ course designed and led by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The Pacific Physical Training Instructors Course, which was held at the Fiji Police Academy in Suva from 7 May, taught trainees from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Niue, Papua New Guinea and Tonga how to design and conduct a range of physical training classes, sport and recreational events and fitness tests. The programme included lessons on the principles of physical fitness.

Flight Sergeant Samantha Marra, the NZDF contingent commander, said the trainees were all excited to go home and make a difference.

“Apart from developing the fitness training skills of the trainees, the course also covered better health and lifestyle choices, including the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise, which they can promote when they train their own forces,” she said.

Police Constable Patella Tou, from the Cook Islands Police Service, said he would take what he had learnt in Suva and teach others.

“The training is important for our Police Service and government,” he said.

Another trainee, Police Constable Anthony Va’a, from Niue, said he planned to run a physical training programme for police when he returned to Alofi.

“I learned a lot and hope to encourage everyone back home to take a step to better health.”

Flight Sergeant Marra said conducting the course had been a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with Pacific partners and to enhance the longstanding relationships with them.

The NZDF team included three physical training instructors, who worked with instructors from the Australian Defence Force, His Majesty’s Armed Forces Tonga and Republic of Fiji Military Forces to run the classes and conduct assessments.

Flight Sergeant Leo Wiapo, the Chief Instructor of the course, said the trainees had all been keen learners and it had been rewarding to see their physical training and leadership skills develop.

“The engagement with Australian and Pacific forces has also been a valuable learning opportunity for the instructors,” Flight Sergeant Wiapo said.

“The experience exposed us to other cultures and enhanced our flexibility as we worked in an unfamiliar environment.”

This page was last reviewed on 4 June 2018, and is current.