Contest highlights local athletic achievement and the changing field of physical education.

Contest Highlights Local Athletic Achievement as Well as the Changing Field of Physical Education

Adelphi Adjunct Tom Howard, Steven Chambers from New Hyde Park HS, Sarah Morgan from Floral Park HS, Adelphi Assistant Professor Kevin Mercier

Tom Howard, adjunct professor, (left) and Kevin Mercier, Ed.D., assistant professor, (far right) with the first-place winners Steven Chambers and Sarah Morgan

Adelphi University and local educators have been at the forefront of promoting lifetime physical activity in physical education. In January 2016, Adelphi launched and hosted a Most Physically Educated Competition. Students and teachers from 15 Nassau County high schools competed in various events while also learning how to sustain a physically active lifestyle post-graduation.

Kevin Mercier, Ed.D., assistant professor of exercise science, health studies, physical education and sport management, and one of the main organizers of the event, noted the changing attitudes towards physical education during both the student competition and the teacher’s workshop. “The shift in physical education, within the schools in Nassau County, is a shift from a team sports, competitive environment, to a focus on lifetime activity by all to combat the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle,” Dr. Mercier said. Through collaborating with the schools and providing professional development to physical education teachers and district athletic directors, the event aimed to add a greater focus on continuing to live a physically active life beyond structured physical education classes.

Over the course of the day-long event, the students competed in various physical activities such as a push-up challenge and a basketball and badminton competition, and submitted written essays regarding the importance of physical education in their lives. Sarah Morgan, a senior from Floral Park Memorial High School, the highest scoring female competitor and one of two winners of the essay contest, stressed the impact that her physical education program had on her. “I am very appreciative of the physical education teachers I’ve had in the past that really influenced me and so I’m really glad that I got to represent them.” Finishing alongside her as highest scoring male was Steven Chambers, a junior from New Hyde Park Memorial High School.

While the students were showcasing their athleticism and ability to work well with others, their teachers had activities to complete as well, organized by Adelphi faculty and current Adelphi University physical education majors. Teachers participated in a variety of subject-bridging tasks that incorporated literacy skills such as memory, communication and language in well-known physical education exercises.

Most Physically Educated Contest 2016 Pacer Test

Students from 15 Nassau County high schools participated in Adelphi’s Most Physically Educated Competition.

The outcome of the event served both teachers and students and provided a newfound appreciation of living a healthy lifestyle. Jacqueline Rizzuti ’05, a New Hyde Park physical education and health teacher, summed up the program by saying, “It is a great way to see what the physical education programs have to offer, and it helps all of the students to see what’s out there in the world because some of them don’t realize the benefit physical education has on them.”

Due to the success of the program, organizers hope that this annual competition continues to grow with more Long Island school district participation.


Highest Scoring Male: Steven Chambers; New Hyde Park

Highest Scoring Female: Sarah Morgan; Floral Park

Best Essay: Sarah Morgan; Floral Park; Hannah Arkin; New Hyde Park

Highest Pacer Score: Male: Claude Parulo; Valley Stream Central; Female: Ashley Sheerin; North Shore

Highest Push-Up Score: Male: Guillermo Ordonez; Floral Park; Female: Sarah Morgan; Floral Park

Highest Scoring School: New Hyde Park Memorial High School

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