Monkey Bars Swing into Action at Penrhos

From the Sports Challenge Fitness and Skill testing completed at Penrhos over the past years, upper body strength has been identified as an area of development for the whole junior school.

Penrhos girls love their new Monkey Bars

With a focus upon good Physical Health for all girls as an important part of the school curriculum, Junior School Principle Trish Summers lobbied successfully the P & F to finance a set of Monkey Bars to help develop the upper body strength of the girls.

With planning and design by Sports Challenge Australia’s CEO Dr Garry Tester who is also an Adjunct Professor in Sports Science at the University of Western Australia, Penrhos now have as set of purpose built Monkey Bars which have adjustable heights for all age groups and are wide enough to have two girls swing in tandem.

The thrill and exhilaration of these bars has been an instant success with lots of ‘monkeying around’ by the Penrhos girls at recess and lunch times as they build improved upper body strength.


The Wild, Wild West Diabetes Camp – 2017!

The Sports Challenge with the Happy Campers at Ern Halliday Recreation Camp

Yee-haa!! Twenty-eight cowboys and cowgirls arrived at the Sports Challenge Australia Wild, Wild West PMH Diabetes Camp on the 27th September to get saddled up for a three-day camp at the Ern Halliday Ranch! The Sports Challenge team of mentors, led by Sherriff Jordan De Leo and Sherriff Celina Hynes, Princess Margaret Hospital and Diabetes WA staff, greeted the cowboys and cowgirls. Excited and nervous, the campers could not wait for the fun, games and activities!

Giddy up! The camp started with plenty of activities and ice-breakers as the campers got to know each other! Frisbee Golf, Bang, and the Hoop Game lifted the campers’ energy levels! Across the afternoon, the teams horsed around playing Hunt the Cowboy/Cowgirl, Desert Crossing, and Capture the Horse! The night drew near as the teams battled it out in a country showdown at the Sports Challenge Wild, Wild West Quiz night hosted by the local sheriffs in town!

Cowboys and Sports Challenge Mentors James, Josh and Sam getting ready for the Diabetes Wild, Wild West Camp!

Round em up! The next morning was kicked off with excitement, as the campers got involved in morning fitness playing Save the Tree and many other morning fitness activities! After, the campers came back to the Ranch to kick on their boots to get involved in a country dance workshop to learn a boot scooting routine for the night’s disco!

Wednesday afternoon galloped in quickly as the campers got involved in a ‘Minute to Win It’. This game involved a series of challenges and Diabetes trivia, which each group had to complete within a minute! Teams were quick out of the gates, however it was Team Two that claimed victory from the showdown!

Minute to Win It Contestants!

Busting a move, the campers danced their way into the night at the disco! Boot scooting, the limbo, and dance-offs were highlights throughout the disco. All campers had a great time with many prize give-aways for the talented campers!

Saddling up, after an amazing three days, the camp came to an end with many campers making new friendships, memories to last a lifetime, and learning a lot about Diabetes! Presentations, awards and good-byes were made in the last part of the camp as the campers went home with certificates, posters and many prizes.

Jordan (SCA Programs Coordinator) and Celina (SCA Coordinator) presenting Jarnia Davies (Diabetes WA Community Ed. Coordinator) with a Certificate of Appreciation.

A big special mention and thank you goes to the Princess Margaret Hospital and Diabetes WA Staff and Volunteers. Their wonderful support and enthusiasm makes these camps so enjoyable, and ensures that the kids have the best time. Additionally a big thank you to our dedicated team of Sports Challenge Mentors who have organised, planned and played a big role in making these great camps run so smoothly. We are incredibly lucky to work with a team that is cohesive, passionate and innovative!

The strong partnership between Sports Challenge Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital and Diabetes WA, ensured the team at Sports Challenge coordinated one of the best Diabetes Camp to date for the 9-10yrs age group. Congratulations to everyone involved!


North Vista Primary School, Singapore, Goes For Gold!

North Vista PS Student Performing Ed Gym - Tuck Roll

Under the wonderful leadership of North Vista Primary School’s Principal, Mrs Dhillon Singh, the school has embarked upon having ‘world first’ fitness and skill measures starting with all P3 students. Using Dr. Garry Tester’s ‘world first’ measures of physical health, developed at the University of Western Australia, the school has successfully partnered with Sports Challenge Australia to achieve some fantastic fitness and skill outcomes.

Garry and his qualified team of Sports Challenge Australia mentors; Jordan De Leo, Celina Hynes, Erin Arrow, and Director Jennifer Clay, assessed the students’ fitness and skill levels in a week-long program. Over two-hundred and forty children aged 8 years were tested and put through their paces, measuring fitness levels, fundamental movement skills, ball skills, and educational gymnastic skills.

Happy Faces of North Vista PS Students after successfully completing testing

As Head of Department (H.O.D.) of Physical Education (P.E.) Mr Alvin Lee explained:

“We want to have the best data available so we can use the data to focus our PE program to have the best outcomes for our students and identify students for our various C.C.A. Sports. Sports Challenge Australia with a database of 40,000 students from Australia and Singapore will give us meaningful data.”

Each student will receive their Parent Report showing their own scores the seven item fitness tests, and the ten item skill tests. Additionally they will receive their comparison scores of the school average for males and females along with a National average to aspire for and in many cases above the National average.

SCA Mentors with North Vista PS Principal Mrs Dhillon Singh

Wow and did the students have some fun with the Sports Challenge mentors collecting the data. As SCA mentor, Celina Hynes said:

“It is fantastic to see how well the students responded to physical activity; they tried hard, had a lot of fun, and were a delight to teach! You only need to look at their smiling faces.”

Now the journey for North Vista Primary School has begun, and the challenges will continue to build for fitness and skill levels of these students. Moreover, as the Students move through the primary years improved physical health can only be of benefit.


Things Were Heating Up in Harts Range! – Remote N.T.

Harts Range School, Alcoota School and Bonya School

Jordan De Leo (SCA Programs Coordinator) with a Harts Range Student

That time of year had arrived again, as Dr Garry Tester and his team; Jordan De Leo & James Durack, packed their bags and embarked on a four-day trip to the Northern Territory. Our destination this time was Harts Range School, a 2-hour drive North-east of Alice Springs, where an activity-filled three-day program awaited them.

The program commenced on Monday morning, with neighbouring schools Alcoota and Bonya driving up for the day to partake in some of Sports Challenge’s fun-filled activities. Despite the warm 29 degrees weather, the kids were still eager and excited to start the fitness testing. The students were put to the test in seven different tasks, displaying a wide variety of ability with a core focus on personal bests.

After the testing was complete, both Alcoota and Bonya students partook in a Goal-Setting session led by Jordan and James. The students were shown motivating videos on Cyril Rioli’s life journey, before completing a goal-setting worksheet and getting a chance to make their own cut-out figures. The target of the session was to help the students identify their dream, the steps which need to be implemented to achieve their aspirations and the people who can help them get there. It was a very beneficial lesson, with all students coming away with something to strive towards. The day concluded with some enjoyable team-based games, where it was great to see all the schools getting along, before Alcoota and Bonya schools departed back to their community. We would like to thank Craig Watkins and Solina Delacruz for their hard work in organising and bringing the kids up for the day.

Tuesday morning commenced with a warm-up and some daily PE led by Garry, Jordan and James. A wide array of stretches and some dancing made for a good start to the morning. A special mention must go to Eve Sargent for discovering these engaging and interactive dance videos, as they were a huge success throughout the program. It was then time for the team to administer the skill testing, which aimed at identifying the students’ abilities and analysing their ball skills and Ed gym capabilities. Overall, we were very impressed with their gymnastic skills and this should be reflected in their results. The skill testing concluded and the students moved straight into some fun fitness games run by Senior Mentor James. A variation of flinch ball, fruit salad and poison ball had the kids exhausted and ready for lunch.

James Durack (SCA Senior Mentor) and Garry Tester (SCA CEO) at Harts Range School leading the Diet & Nutrition Program

After lunch, the students partook in an educational Diet and Nutrition session run by the SCA crew. The session started off with listening to Sam’s Sandwich book, before watching a short video and colouring in some fun worksheets. Ms Caroline Brennan-Tucker then topped off the session by providing the students with a lovely platter of fresh fruit to taste.  Overall, the kids had a blast learning about healthy eating and identifying a healthier lifestyle. Once school had finished, Garry treated the boys to a drive to a former Mica mining site some 20kms from the community. It was highly informative and even gave the boys a chance to hike some of the spectacular cliffs Harts Range has to offer.

Wednesday morning commenced with a specialised soccer session run by Jordan. The students were eager to learn the rules and the Sports Challenge crew were more than happy to help. This led to a modified game being played, with the girls coming out victorious and outscoring the boys 3-2. We were very impressed with how quickly the students picked up the game and the level of skill they demonstrated.

Garry, James & Jordan with the Happy Students at Harts Range

An activity packed session was planned for the rest of the day, with all classes combining to form three teams and participate in a mini-Olympics. The three teams were led by each of the three Sports Challenge coaches, with their competitive sides starting to come out. The Olympics began with a basketball shootout, before going into a bean bag relay and followed up by a Frisbee Rings of Olympiad. The scores were tight going into the final activity, where the students were to be put to the test in an AFL Goal Kicking competition. Some impressive goal kicking was executed, however the team led by Garry came out victorious in the end. It was a thrilling conclusion, to an overall fantastic program.

To top off the amazing program, the team were treated to a delicious lamb roast dinner from Caroline and her sister Jennifer. A splendid night filled with laughter, great food and even better company. Special thanks go to Principal Edward Duffill and Caroline Brennan-Tucker for their hard work in organising the logistics of the trip and their helpfulness throughout our stay. We look forward to coming back next time.


This is Living Barry! – South Hedland Primary School Visit

James (Senior Mentor), Jordan (Programs Coordinator), and South Hedland Primary School Student - Lou-Anne

Met with a sunny change from the gloomy weather in Perth, Dr. Garry Tester (CEO Sports Challenge), Jordan de Leo (Programs Coordinator) and James Durack (Senior Mentor) arrived on the tarmac of Port Hedland. At the airport, they were greeted with a warm welcome from South Hedland Primary School principal and fishing guru Daryl Mansfield. If this welcome change in weather wasn’t an indication for the exceptional program ahead then the successful afternoon fishing trip definitely was.

The three day visit was jammed packed with programs for both the students and the teachers respectively. The fitness testing was up first and was well received by the students who showed a great interest in each of the seven key areas of fitness, which have been successfully implemented over the past 25 years. The program tests the students on a number of areas of their personal fitness and provides valuable data for the school to gauge where they sit compared to other schools, and where the students sit against their peers.

After lunch, Jordan led from the front with a valuable session on diet and nutrition which was a hit with the students, who got hands on with the activities provided. Each student had the chance to engage in a diet and nutrition survey and a ‘Q and A’ about what foods were healthy and beneficial for physical and mental health. This was followed by a colouring activity as well as a short story and video for the younger students who really enjoyed it.

South Hedland Primary School Student Goal Setting

Day two was packed to the rafters with the fitness and diet program which ran as smoothly as it had on day one. It was great to see the school come together for a lunchtime performance from a hip-hop dance group, which got the kids up and grooving.

The Sport Challenge mentors kicked off the after lunch session in the same style with a great short dance video in which the kids could follow along. It was great to see every student participating in the activity with prizes given out for outstanding effort.

On the final day, Dr Garry Tester ran a superb P.D. session for the teaching staff. After a number of hours of careful planning the program was ready to be delivered, and delivered it was! Garry started with a valuable insight into how to interpret the fitness testing data and the key indicators for staff to monitor when implementing their own fitness sessions. This was well received by the staff who were given additional material to aid in their own daily P.E. It was also great to see James reuniting with his Year 3 teacher who had taught him back in his hometown of Margaret River. It just goes to show how small the world really is.

That was a rap. A great program from all involved.  With a huge thanks to Daryl Mansfield and Julie Rose, who were both extremely accommodating and helped make the program a real success. Big thanks must be given to the rest of the staff who all helped out where they could. We look forward to our next trip.


SCA Presents The PMH Diabetes WA Rock Stars Camp 2017!

SCA & Diabetes WA Camp T-shirt

The Easter school holidays arrived with a BANG! Thirty-six excited Rock Star campers joined the Sports Challenge Team at Point Walter Recreation Camp to jump on-board a musical four-day camp of stardom, glitz and glamour!

By day, the campers were entertained with many noteworthy outdoor activities including water paddling on the beautiful swan river, pool games, flying fox and high ropes course, thanks to the awesome crew at the Department of Sport and Recreation!

Getting crafty in the afternoons, the campers were given a customized SCA & Diabetes WA Shirt to design a group band t-shirt! Artistic flair and ideas were running high as we saw fabulous designs left, right and centre! To go with these fantastically designed shirts, the campers created their own electric guitars in preparation for Thursday’s Rock Band Night and Air Guitar Competition!

Music extravaganza hit the campers on Wednesday afternoon as our SCA Senior Mentor and dancer, Treya Long, taught a choreographed dance that all the kids got involved in. After having a quick break, the campers were involved in an interesting and informative Diet Education Session and Psycho-social Session based on Mindfulness with the PMH and Diabetes WA staff.

Happy PMH Campers with the Westpac Helicopter

In preparation for the disco, face-painting and crazy Rock-star hair styling competitions took place before dinner. With their new funky hairstyles, the kids looked the part and were ready for the disco. Wednesday night came quickly and before we knew it the disco took off with the Rocky Horror Picture show choreographed dance, followed by many dance offs, limbos, and Congo lines! What a night!

The Westpac Helicopter made a very special trip to visit the lucky campers on Thursday afternoon. The landing, static display, discussion and Q & A session, left the campers in awe as they watched the chopper take off from Point Walter and fly into the distance. The group raced back in for the Minute to Win It Challenge where teams went head-to-head in a number of fun challenges and trivia. The Amazing Race followed this, where teams competed against the clock to complete a series of mind-boggling challenges to race to the finish line!

Sleepfreak Concert at the SCA & PMH Rockstars Camp

The campers were treated to an amazing live-band ultimate rock star concert from Sleepfreak, who were also our special Guest Judges for the Air Guitar/Battle of the Bands competition! Band members Antoni Garic, Tom Haste and Daniel Da Conceicao rocked out performing original songs and covers! Happy campers were thrown a variety of Sleepfreak merchandise including CD’s & T-Shirts, whilst special guest Jennifer Clay (SCA Director and JH Computers Services CEO), brought along JHCS pens and stress balls! After rocking out to Sleepfreak’s dynamic tunes, the campers got down to business to find the King or Queen of Air Guitar history!

After an amazing four days, the camp came to end with our musical groups making many new friendships, creating many sublime memories, and learning a lot of interesting information from the fantastic crew from Princess Margaret Hospital and Diabetes WA!

With the fantastic partnership of Sports Challenge Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital and Diabetes WA, the team at Sports Challenge Australia coordinated one of the best Diabetes Camps to date! Congratulations to everyone involved.