The CHAMPS Middle School Sport and Fitness League is an initiative of the New York City Department of Education that promotes physical activity among children going through the critical years of middle school. The name CHAMPS derives from the initials of the five values that define our participants: Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, and Positive Students.
CHAMPS was introduced as a pilot program in 50 middle schools in the spring of the 2003-04 school year. In addition to launching the pilot, the Department of Education hosted the first-ever citywide middle school basketball tournament and a fitness festival in Central Park for more than 1,200 students. The success of the pilot, the tournament and the festival prompted the implementation of CHAMPS as a two-season program (winter and spring) in the 2004-05 school year. A fall season was added the following school year. Since its inception, CHAMPS has grown to approximately 1000 programs in over 200 middle schools. To ensure quality, CHAMPS offers professional development each year for teacher-coaches.
CHAMPS is an initiative of the Office of School Wellness Programs. It is managed by Dr. Bruce Davis and a team of long-time physical educators who, as CHAMPS coordinators, are in charge of all aspects of program operations from managing school applications, to coordinating special events, to creating training opportunities for teacher-coaches. Each season, about 400 teachers work as CHAMPS teacher-coaches under the direct supervision of their principals.