FACING INCREASING DROPOUT RATES IN SPORTS, FREE FUNCTIONAL FITNESS CURRICULUM PREPARES STUDENTS TO COMPETE IN SPARTAN OBSTACLE RACES
BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success) and Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, teamed up to create a free functional fitness program to keep high schoolers engaged in physical activity by preparing them to compete in a Spartan race. The program was administered through the Spartan Kids Foundation, Spartan’s not-for-profit arm.
According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13. The BOKS High School Curriculum X Spartan is a free, 8-week program designed to keep kids, who otherwise may not participate in any physical activity, healthy and active. The program provides high school-aged kids with an opportunity to join a non-competitive program focused on self-improvement, teamwork, and fun.
“BOKS started as a program for younger children, but what we noticed is that unless students were highly specialized or able to afford expensive sports teams, they were dropping out of physical activity all together by the time they reach their freshman year of high school,” said Kathleen Tullie, founder and executive director of the BOKS program. “Physical activity is critical to the mental health of these students and with increased pressure from school, social media, and increased use of technology, we want to provide them with an outlet.”
The BOKS program, founded in 2009, has seen massive adoption of its elementary and middle school programs and is now present in more than 4,200 schools across the globe. The collaboration with Spartan is the program’s first offering for high schools.
- The BOKS High School Curriculum X Spartan is designed for a high-school aged audience and each 45 minute class includes:
- a fitness skill of the week that supports the completion of obstacles found in a Spartan race (e.g. crawling, throwing, jumping);
- a virtue or behavior typical of a Spartan racer (e.g. perseverance);
- a warm-up;
- a skill or running related activity;
- a skill related game;
- and a cool-down mindfulness exercise to end each session.
“Spartan is excited and proud to collaborate with BOKS on this new fitness initiative for America’s youth,” said Joe De Sena, Spartan founder and CEO. “We are all about inspiring kids to get out, be active, have fun and get fit. It’s never too early to set new goals, which is more important than ever since obesity rates have tripled for U.S. kids in the past three decades. This curriculum will empower students to step outside of their comfort zones and learn how to overcome obstacles both on and off the course.”