The CHAMPS Middle School Sport and Fitness League is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education that promotes physical activity among children going through the critical years of middle school. The name CHAMPS derives from the initials of the five values that define our participants: Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students.
How does CHAMPS work?
CHAMPS provides schools with middle grades with resources to offer sports and fitness programs outside of school hours. CHAMPS programs are administered in three seasons -- fall, winter, and spring -- through the Office of School Wellness Programs. At the beginning of the year, all middle schools have the opportunity to apply for fall, winter and/or spring programs. Principals can choose from a diverse pool of activities -- from traditional sports such as basketball and tennis, to non-traditional sports like golf and badminton, to fitness activities like yoga, dance and running.
CHAMPS was introduced as a pilot program in 50 middle schools in the spring of the 2003-04 school year. In addition to launching the pilot, the Department of Education hosted the first-ever citywide middle school basketball tournament and a fitness festival in Central Park for more than 1,200 students. The success of the pilot, the tournament and the festival prompted the implementation of CHAMPS as a two-season program (winter and spring) in the 2004-05 school year. A fall season was added the following school year. Since its inception, CHAMPS has grown to approximately 1000 programs in over 200 middle schools. To ensure quality, CHAMPS offers professional development each year for teacher-coaches.
CHAMPS is an initiative of the Office of School Wellness Programs. It is managed by Dr. Bruce Davis and a team of long-time physical educators who, as CHAMPS coordinators, are in charge of all aspects of progam operations from managing school applications, to coordinating special events, to creating training opportunities for teacher-coaches. Each season, about 400 teachers work as CHAMPS teacher-coaches under the direct supervision of their principals.
CHAMPS is possible thanks to the generous and visionary support of Answer Vending, CC Vending, the New York Road Runners (NYRR), New York City Council, Home Runs for Harlem and the New York Jets. To learn more about how to support CHAMPS, please visit our Support Us page.
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