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 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.
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
About Adelphi: A modern university with deep roots
Adelphi University is a nationally ranked, doctoral research university offering exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training with particular strength in its Core Four—AU Arts and Humanities, AU STEM and Social Sciences, AU Professions, and AU Health and Wellness.
Founded in Brooklyn in 1896, Adelphi was one of the first coeducational institutions of higher education in New York State and is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. Today Adelphi serves nearly 7,500 students from 38 states and 46 countries at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs around the state (New York City, the Hudson Valley and across Long Island) and online.
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