The purpose of the Start2Finish Daily 20 physical activity program is for children to develop a lifelong enjoyment of sport and physical activity. The program is delivered to boys and girls aged 6-13, impacting thousands of students across Canada.

The Daily 20 provides 20 minutes of daily physical activity during the school year to elementary/middle school children in classrooms, gyms, playgrounds and community centres. As its name suggests, the program is administered 5 days/week and includes a variety of aerobic exercises taught to children. The D20 features fun, engaging methods and tools to teach the importance of physical activity and exercise, in ways that can measurably improve fitness levels and strengthen academic results. It also meets the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Daily Physical Activity (DPA) goal.

The Plan

The Daily 20 is an adaptation of one of our existing programs that we created and successfully implemented in over 200 schools over the past 7 years -- the 20/20 Challenge. The 20/20 Challenge operates for 20 minutes a day for a period of 20 weeks, as a physical fitness program designed to prepare students for a 5 km run after completion of the 20-week challenge.

The program serves children in grades 1-8, and is being delivered in 6 neighbourhoods (schools/community centres) in 2019-2020, with the goal of expanding to additional communities and regions in consecutive years. The program is executed in collaboration with our existing partners including the Hamilton-Wentworth District public and Catholic school boards, the Toronto District School Board, the Thames Valley District School Board, the schools within these boards, local community centres and community organizations.

The D20 meets the recommended Daily Physical Activity (DPA) requirement for schools of 20 minutes/day, which our research has indicated is an ongoing challenge for school staff. It provides a solution by offering a pre-packaged, easily implemented, embeddable and adaptable physical activity program.

The Program

The Daily 20 activities are designed to be presented in a flexible manner so that each site where the program operates can determine if they want to set aside 20 consecutive minutes, or split the time during intervals (5 or 10 minutes), to complete the D20 by the end of the day. The program is facilitated by a combination of teachers, trained volunteers (including parents) and regional staff members from Start2Finish.

The D20 includes workout videos featuring teachers and students, interactive learning materials, and a web portal containing a variety of other structured resources available both digitally and paper-based, such as:

  • Calendar of physical activity ideas

  • Training Guide Task Cards

  • Participation tracking charts

  • Ideas for motivation – How to keep the momentum rolling

  • Journal templates to bring awareness about physical and mental health

No special equipment is required to administer the program; all activities can be conducted inside or outside, in a gym, classroom, park or community centre.

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