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Important Program Updates from the President's Challenge

The President’s Challenge Physical Activity & Fitness Awards Program, a program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, has recognized nearly 70 million Americans of all ages and ability levels for their physical activity and nutrition achievements since 1988. Through a variety of programs, including the longstanding and evolving youth fitness test, the President’s Challenge has provided tools and resources to motivate youth and adults to meet the Physical Activity and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

On August 31, 2016, the programs that comprise the President’s Challenge will undergo an organizational transition to better serve the American public. New and existing partnerships will provide additional resources for these programs to improve their efficiency, accessibility, and physical activity and nutrition tracking options. The Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+), and Presidential Champions programs will continue in fall 2016, while the Adult Fitness Test will undergo a review to ensure it best serves the needs of the public.

Key details on the program transitions:

  • Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP):  All operations of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program will continue, including distribution of the awards and recognition items. The program provides educators with the necessary tools and information to achieve excellence in physical education through quality fitness education and assessment practices. PYFP operates through a public-private partnership between the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Cooper Institute, SHAPE America, and the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. All program resources and information about how to get involved can be found on pyfp.org.
  • Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+):  The PALA+ program will become a new challenge on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker - a free online tool for tracking daily food and physical activity. More details on this new partnership will be announced in fall 2016.
    • Current users in the midst of the six-to-eight week challenge working towards completing PALA+ must transition from the President’s Challenge online tracker to the PALA+ paper log available on Fitness.gov in English and Spanish, as the online tracker will not be available after August 31, 2016.
    • New and existing PALA+ users can complete the challenge using paper the logs indefinitely, and may download and print their digital award certificate from the PALA+ program page on Fitness.gov.
    • Effective immediately, new users will no longer be able to register an account on the President’s Challenge online tracker.
    • The President’s Challenge online tracker will close on August 31, 2016.
    • To receive updates via email when PALA+ launches on SuperTracker, please click here to sign up for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition newsletter, or click here to sign up for updates on the SuperTracker.
  • Presidential Champions:  The Presidential Champions program will become a new challenge on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker - a free online tool for tracking daily food and physical activity. More details on this new partnership will be announced in fall 2016.
    • Current users have the ability to continue tracking their physical activity towards a Presidential Champions award on SuperTracker without losing their progress.
    • To keep their points, current users must download their progress data from their tracker page before August 31, 2016, by selecting ‘Export Your Activity’ while logged into an account. When Presidential Champions launches on SuperTracker, users will be able to upload their progress to their user profile and continue tracking where they left off.
    • How to continue tracking your physical activity during the transition:
      • Before August 31, 2016:  Current users can continue logging their physical activity in the President’s Challenge online tracker until August 31, 2016. On that date, the online tracker will close.
      • September 1, 2016 and after:  Current users must keep track of their physical activity on paper, by manually entering it into their downloaded progress data file or by using SuperTracker. Creating a SuperTracker account will allow users to save activities and run reports on those activities. Please note SuperTracker will not automatically count points towards Presidential Champions until the program launches.
      • When Presidential Champions launches on SuperTracker: Users will be able to enter points earned into SuperTracker and continue towards receiving a Presidential Champions award.
  • Effective immediately, new users will no longer be able to register an account on the President’s Challenge online tracker.
  • The President’s Challenge online tracker will close on August 31, 2016.
  • To receive updates via email when Presidential Champions launches on SuperTracker, please click here to sign up for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition newsletter.
  • Adult Fitness Test
    The Adult Fitness Test will not be available in its current form beginning September 1, 2016. Reviews of testing protocols will be conducted and the website upgraded to best serve the needs of the public.  An announcement will be made when the Adult Fitness Test has been updated and is available for use.

As part of this transition, the President’s Challenge office in Bloomington, Indiana, will close after August 31, 2016. The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition will continue to manage operations of PYFP, PALA+, Presidential Champions, and the Adult Fitness Test, alongside its respective partners. The President’s Council expresses its sincere gratitude to the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington, for its long-standing support and dedication to advance the health and wellness of Americans of all ages and abilities through their support and administration of the President’s Challenge. We also thank SHAPE America, the current co-sponsor, for their support of this long-standing program. 

Historical Background

As the President’s Council’s national awards program, the President’s Challenge has constantly evolved since presidential recognition was established in 1966. Initially introduced as the Presidential Physical Fitness Award, the singular award recognized achievement in youth fitness in schools nationwide. In the mid-1980s, the introduction of additional awards marked the next evolution of the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards Program into what became known as the President’s Challenge program in 1988. Since then, the President’s Challenge has grown to include new awards and new challenges.

Most recently, in 2012, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program was launched to phase out the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. This new program to assess student fitness levels now provides additional tools and resources to ensure students are fit for life. With an evolved approach, fitness assessment has moved away from recognizing physical fitness to providing a barometer on student’s health. Based on the latest science and research, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program places emphasis on the value of living a physically active and healthy lifestyle—in school and beyond. Approximately 25,000 schools with an estimated reach of 13 million students are engaged with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

For any questions about the President’s Challenge Transition not answered in this statement or Frequently Asked Questions below, please email Fitness@hhs.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions about the President’s Challenge Transition

Q: What does this change mean for visitors of the President’s Challenge and users of its programs?

A: Visitors to the President’s Challenge website may bookmark the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition website Fitness.gov for physical activity and nutrition facts, tips, and resources. Users of the President’s Challenge programs can find transition details for each program above.

Q: Why was the announcement to the public made today?

A: The announcement is being made to the public today now that the future of each program has been determined and we could share the steps you need to take to continue participating in the programs.

Q: When do you expect to re-launch PALA+ and Presidential Champions on SuperTracker?

A: We will announce plans to re-launch PALA+ and Presidential Champions on SuperTracker in the fall of 2016. If you would like to be notified when these two programs are re-launched, click here to sign up for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition newsletter, or click here to sign up for updates on SuperTracker.

Q: When Presidential Champions launches on SuperTracker will it be simple to get my points back?

A: Yes, you will be able to indicate that you are in progress towards an award when you register on SuperTracker and begin the Presidential Champions challenge. You can enter the points you earned before the President’s Challenge online tracker closed on August 31, 2016, and you can log the physical activity you completed during the transition period.

Q: I’m working towards a PALA+. Will I be able to continue working towards the award on SuperTracker?

A: If you have not started PALA+ or want to start it on SuperTracker, you can begin logging your physical activity and nutrition when SuperTracker launches this fall. If you want to begin PALA+ now, you should use the paper log to complete the program during the transition period. There is no difference in the program in how it is presented on the paper log or online.

Q: What is happening to the President’s Challenge Advocate Program?

A: The President’s Challenge Advocate Program will close on August 31, 2016, ending the advocate organization’s relationship to the President’s Challenge. However, all advocate organizations are strongly encouraged to continue using our free programs now and in the future to help motivate their communities to live active, healthy lifestyles.

Q: How can I order my student recognition items for the Presidential Youth Fitness Program?

A:Until August 31, you can continue ordering your items by visiting presidentschallenge.org/shop.

On September 1 and after, you can begin ordering your recognition items by visiting pyfp.org.

Q: I’m still using the Presidential, National, and Participant awards from the Youth Fitness Test. How does this transition affect me?

A: These award items are no longer available. The Youth Fitness Test was sunset in 2013. All physical educators interested in assessing student fitness are encouraged to get started with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. It’s free!

Q: Can I still purchase products from the President’s Challenge?

A: Products that feature the President’s Challenge brand can be purchased until August 31, 2016 from the President’s Challenge website.

Q: Who can I contact for more information?

A: We are happy to answer any questions you may have related to the transition and programs. Please email us at Fitness@hhs.gov.