Sayville's Three Elementary Fit Teams
Having a Field Day with Fitness
At the third annual Suffolk Zone Fit Club, the atmosphere couldn’t have been more energizing. Thirty-one teams, comprised of select fourth and fifth graders from many neighboring school districts, assembled on Lincoln Avenue elementary school grounds—prepared with official lines for the competition by Sayville’s Buildings and Grounds personnel—to compete in fitness challenges. The Suffolk Zone Fit Club competitors, wearing their team’s uniquely color t-shirts, participated in team relays that included sit-ups, planks, hurdle jumps, and sprinting, while on the sidelines teammates and spectators cheered. Both the morning relays and the afternoon AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) event were invigorating to the participants and their spectators.
While the special day was all about the amazing celebration of fitness for 1,000 students (see all the photos), the event itself—and how it came about—deserves some attention.
The Suffolk Zone Fit Club was the result of an initiative proposed several years ago at a monthly Suffolk Zone Executive Board meeting attended by its members who include physical educators. During the meeting their discussion about holding fitness competitions among schools became a reality when Lincoln Avenue Physical Education teacher Coach Elizabeth Bolger—with her prior experience organizing athletic events—envisioned how to bring “the program to life.”
In her July 2018 article entitled, “The Birth of the Suffolk Zone FIT CLUB” posted on the PHE America website[ https://www.pheamerica.org/2018/the-birth-of-the-suffolk-zone-fit-club/] Coach Bolger explains the why and how the Fit Club challenge was born. In addition, she remarks: “I loved the idea of a fitness competition and wanted to make it current and modern. I knew that in order to continue to motivate students, we would need to make connections between their interests and ours. So, I looked at their world and culture, where Cross Fit games, Ninja warrior contests, and obstacle races are the most popular. I wanted to create an event that would be fun, playful, and exciting for them while challenging them physically and mentally. So, I designed events to test the students’ fitness on all five Health-Related Physical Fitness components and six Skills-Related Fitness Components, while still being fresh, exciting, and current to kids. This, I hoped, would help lay the groundwork for a lifetime of fitness and health for our youth. I believe that if we can make fitness fun, exciting, challenging and modern, then students will continue to stay fit which will lead to improved self-esteem, prevent obesity, and decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life. A win-win! The goal was to inspire students to WANT to work-out and be EXCITED about exercise!”
Now in its third year, Suffolk Zone Fit Club competition with its focus on “teamwork, cooperation, and perseverance” has achieved its mission “to empower our students with the tools, skills, training, and confidence they need to live a lifetime of fitness, all while challenging themselves through difficult physical challenges.” Since its inception, the participating schools have swelled in number which is proof that students will rise to the challenges—especially when offered in such a fun-filled environment.
- Congratulations to Sunrise Drive's Amy Chaimowitz, Gary Jensen, and all the 4th and 5th grade Fit Team for taking First Place at this year’s competition. This was an athletic competition made up of 28 student teams. There were 31 schools from across Suffolk County. Well done to all!
- Also congratulations to Cherry Avenue students and their coaches for placing Fifth and Lincoln Avenue students and coaches for placing Ninth. All three Savyille teams made the top ten!