Promotion: Beat the Pro Community Event

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

Most communities have sports personalities who have established some public profile by competing at the professional, university or elite amateur level.

With their cooperation, you can organize a community event that will publicize your school and spread the word about healthy living.

Beat the Pro Event
The event is a field day—open to the community—in which activity stations are manned by sports celebrities who give pointers or set a standard which others attempt to beat.

For example, a professional football player can run an obstacle course and challenge others to beat him. A sprinter can run 30m out of the blocks, then coach participants. A golfer can give putting tips and see who can sink the most out of 10 putts.

Participation sports can be conducted with non-athlete celebrities taking part (i.e. politicians, media celebrities). Examples are co-ed volleyball, basketball and blooperball.

Along with these activities local health organizations can conduct brief seminars on aspects of healthy living like “how to quit smoking,” “healthy fast-food eating,”  “healthy weight control” etc.

The idea is to draw participants using the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities, then to provide pertinent health information. The goal is to portray physical activity as fun, while providing access to local resources on healthy living.

Fundraising Option
If you want to use this event to raise funds, operate a concession stand offering low-fat foods and healthy drinks, or charge a nominal entry fee to participate.

You could also charge a fee to local businesses (when they are appropriate to your theme) to set up booths or display banners.

This event can be as large or as small as you want. However, a large event will require many volunteers and committees to coordinate areas such as promotion, nutrition, activities, sponsors and athletes.

Local health organizations may be willing to do some or most of the leg work if you provide the athletes, the site and the activities.

On the other hand, a smaller event might only include your students and their parents and replace a regular field day.

1. Christine Forbes-Preece, “Challenge the pros: The influence of positive role models.” Active Living, September 1996.
2. William Stier, Fundraising and Promotion for Sport and Recreation Programs, American Press; 3rd edition, 2010.

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© 2011, Physical Education Update,

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