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Purpose, Background and Guidelines

Purpose, Background and Description

Purpose: The purpose of the Cooperative Fitness Challenge is to encourage children to become more physically fit while practicing their teamwork and cooperation skills.

Background and Description:

The Cooperative Fitness Challenge is an electrifying program that requires children to compete in innovative fitness challenges that are not only fun, but also build teamwork and cooperation skills, as most of the challenges require children to work together to complete. It is composed of a series of six fitness challenges that focus primarily on a child\92s cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. Four of the challenges involve kids working with partners while the other two are individual challenges. Our goal was to design a series of challenges that reduced the feeling of isolation and apprehension sometimes associated with a some fitness tests and challenges. To do this, we designed challenges that combine fun motor skills (e.g., throwing and catching), fun equipment (4 of the challenges require balls of kids choice to be manipulated) and most importantly, working together.

The Challenge is designed to be worked on throughout the school year rather than administered only once or twice a year. This is a great program for before or after school, lunch time or recess. It is popular with both physical educators and classroom teachers. Parents can also be encouraged to visit PE Central to learn more about the Challenge and how they can work with their child to improve their physical fitness. We also encourage children who are more physically fit to encourage and work with children who are less physically fit to help them attain a pin too.

The Challenge is intended to be used by teachers in ways that are developmentally appropriate and as a tool to motivate kids to practice and improve their physical fitness and cooperation skills. It is NOT intended as a way to assess a physical education program or as a way to assign a grade in physical education. It is also not intended to compete with any of the fitness testing programs currently available. Our hope is that the Cooperative Fitness Challenge will be a positive experience for all children and something that will motivate and encourage them to become more physically fit.

Supporting Articles:

The following articles were very helpful in guiding us in the creation of the Cooperative Fitness Challenge

Award Pins Criteria:

Gold pin
Kids complete ALL 6 challenge tasks successfully
silver pin
Kids complete 5 of the 6 challenge tasks successfully
bronze pin
Kids complete 4 of the 6 challenge tasks successfully
participation certificate
Kids complete less than 4 of the 6 challenge tasks successfully

Guidelines for Administering the Cooperative Fitness Challenge

Please use the following guidelines when administering the Cooperative Skills Challenge

  • Provide youngsters MANY opportunities to meet each of the challenges. It is not intended to be a one-time test but rather a challenge that youngsters can try many times for the duration of the Challenge.

  • Verify successful completion of each of the six challenges by using our Cooperative Fitness Challenge Tracking Sheet.

  • The Challenge is intended to be optional, NOT mandatory. If some youngsters are uncomfortable, or do not want to try the challenges, we encourage teachers not to force them to do so.

  • We encourage you to modify or change the Challenge tasks to meet the needs of all your children, including those with special needs. We have provided a number of modifications and variations in our explanations of each challenge.

  • We encourage teachers to "teach to the test" by providing youngsters with appropriate "at home" practice tasks, cues, and feedback as often as possible.

  • Some of the challenges require children to work with a partner. It is possible for students to successfully complete these challenges more than once in order to help other students to achieve those challenges.

  • Ideally each of the challenges will be completed in small groups or individually, but not with an entire class of students watching one or two children at a time while the rest of the class waits for their turn.

  • The challenges may be administered before or after school or during recess. Classroom teachers may be interested in helping their children pass the various challenges and verifying their successful completion. Teachers offering a challenge evening with parents can count those attempts towards the passing of each challenge task as well.

  • We do not recommend that a substantial portion of physical education class time be devoted to administering the challenges.

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