Presidential Youth Fitness Program Recipients


Congratulations to the recipients of the inaugural Presidential Youth Fitness Program grants!

As a research-based public health organization, SPARK applauds the hard work and forward thinking that has led to the development of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. SPARK believes strongly in the power of assessment, quality professional development, and motivational recognition and has long been an active President’s Challenge Advocate. Click Here to see SPARK alignment with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

We’ve also created an equipment list to help grant recipients implement or enhance their fitness assessment! The list includes items like the ‘Crunchmat’, a mat that becomes an abdominal-crunch platform with raised edges and lightly texture surface to indicate start and finish points of each crunch movement without looking down.  The widths are the national standards for abdominal crunch distances for students grades K-5.

Why is the Presidential Youth Fitness Program Important?

Student participation in quality physical education and regular physical activity leads to improvements in relevant outcomes such as physical fitness.   Although “physical activity”, “exercise”, “physical education” and “physical fitness” are terms that describe very different concepts they are often confused with one another.  Physical fitness is a set of attributes such as aerobic capacity; body composition; and muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.  Assessment of physical fitness provides an effective way to evaluate overall physical condition.  Quality physical education programming like SPARK has helped schools improve student’s physical fitness and improve health outcomes.

As schools enhance their physical education programs many are adopting new strategies to assess physical fitness such as the Presidential Youth Fitness program.   Launched in September 2012, the mission of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program is to offer tools to assists schools assess physical fitness.  This voluntary program is the result of a partnership between the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Amateur Athletic Union and The Cooper Institute.