TEAM VALKYRIES FITNESS CHALLENGE
What’s the purpose of this contest?
- Highlight and promote awareness of individual girls’ fitness, regardless of a chosen sport.
- Inspire a rivalry between various different girls’ sports for a top fitness honor.
- Inspire more girls to join sports teams.
- Increase awareness of TEAM VALKYRIES’ programs and products.
- Provide a meaningful fundraising alternative to car-washes and bake-sales for girls’ teams.
Who/what is TEAM VALKYRIES?
Why is this fitness thing so important?
Obesity-related health problems cost $100 billion a year.
Obesity (BMI >30) rose from 12 to 20% between 1990 and 2000. In 2000, 61% of adults were overweight.
Over 30,000 deaths each year are attributable to obesity and overweight.
Economic costs of obesity are over $117 billion.
Childhood obesity tripled since 1960s.
Over 33 billion is spent annually on weight-loss products and services.
Physical Education has been one of the first casualties of school budget cuts.
But fitness has many components -speed, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, endurance… why does this contest focus on such simple calisthenics?
- They’re simple and everyone knows how to do them.
- They require no equipment, partners or special skills. They can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
- Our venue and time are limited.
- They’re basic, and somewhat maligned; we all remember the drudgery of Phys-Ed. Some of us who were in the military remember doing push-ups as punishment. We’d like to make them a little more glamorous!
Why don’t you allow “girl pushups”?
As far as we’re concerned there’s no such thing! So-called “girl push-ups” (or push-ups done on the knees) is a vestige of an era when girls were expected not to be able to do real pushups. Today we know better -that any girl who is healthy and fit and practices them can perform dozens. Many of the girls in our past two contests performed over 40 repetitions in strict form… in our 2005 event, one girl did 87! A seasoned gymnast can usually perform one-hand push-ups. Min Kim (below), an all-natural pro fitness competitor (and a mom!) can do50 one-hand pushups! The bottom line is that if you want it enough, you’ll do it…
Why is this just for girls?
Until recently, girls haven’t had the encouragement, incentives or icons the boys have had to be physically competitive (eg. “girl push-ups”). That’s finally changing, with the likes of Mia Hamm and the Williams sisters. Even onscreen, you’re seeing more physical kick-butt heroines like Xena, Lara Croft, and Keira Knightley as Guinevere. But we still have a long way to go. Hopefully we can get these girls to see fitness differently than their grandmoms did.
Who is eligible?
Any girls’ sports team from an established club, league or school. The entire team need not compete, but there must be a minimum of five players competing.
My girl’s not on a team. Why does this have to be a team event?
- Many girls are shy about performing alone in public, but will happily join in if they’re with a team.
- We want to encourage more girls who aren’t on teams already to join teams. The social involvement of teamwork and camaraderie are as important to health as fitness is. Keep in mind the enormous “body-image” insecurity many girls encounter in their teens as they’re bombarded by media and peer-pressure. Often, the stress these cause can lead to serious problems. Fitness and teamwork are the best way to combat this.
- Having teams from different sports competing against each other on a “level playing field” will add an interesting dimension of rivalry.
- It makes for a much larger, more exciting event with higher visibility and publicity. It gets a lot more people involved and sends a more important message.
Why do we have to wear uniforms to compete?
Again, one of the purposes of TVFC is to highlight girls’ team sports, so we want you representing your team and your sport. We want everyone who sees your team and the others at the event to know who you are and why you’re there. And just the same, you should want to promote your sport as well as your team!
If your game-uniforms aren’t available or appropriate, your team should be in some sort of appropriate matching outfits which at least look like your uniforms (eg. matching tees and shorts with your team’s name on them). Since we’re judging the degree of straightness and flexion of elbow (pushups) and knee joints (deep knee-bends), all contestants must be in uniforms/outfits which are not excessively loose.
We’ll also be taking team & individual photos of the winners for the media and for our flyer for the 2007 TVFC, so we need you looking your best as a team.
Are there age restrictions?
So far, we’re not imposing any… our most recent winners were gymnastics team girls aged 6-10, and we doubt there are too many adult women’s teams who could beat them! We certainly encourage girls of all ages to take a shot at this …the preparation and the experience alone will make them winners!
How are the teams scored? Does the number of girls on a team matter?
The team score will be a team average: each girl will be scored on the number of correctly-performed repetitions in each of the three exercises. The scores of all the team players will be totaled, and the total divided by the number of girls on the team. The number of participants doesn’t matter as long as they’re well-prepared. While you obviously want only your fittest girls competing, we recommend that you encourage as many of your girls to train for it and attend as possible, to make this a true team event and get the most overall fitness value out of it. And those who don’t compete can come along to cheer your team on!
Why did the time for each event increase from one minute to two?
Many girls can do more than sixty repetitions of an exercise. If limited to one minute, that means more than one rep per second, which encourages sloppy/partial repetitions. Allowing two minutes will permit higher scores and maintain the strict exercise form we require. This is a reason the military’s fitness tests allow two minutes for such events.
Who are your judges?
Some of them may be from our Advisory Board, some will be volunteers. All will be fully knowledgeable and committed to ensuring the most fair, accurate and impartial judging of repetitions. They’ll be down on the mat, in close and won’t miss a thing. We won’t tolerate anyone challenging their decisions; we will stand behind them and dismiss any team who does this (including the coach). If you’re prone to yelling at referees, you’re in the wrong place!
Can we just show up and register our team at the event?
No. We need to verify and schedule all participating teams in advance. And if our schedule is full, you won’t get a slot. We’ll be giving priority to teams who’ve registered the earliest, based on their stated date preference. Keep in mind that registration is free and takes only a few minutes. You must register, and you’re best off registering as soon as possible. To register, click here.
I’m computer-illiterate; what if I’m having problems registering?
Please feel free to call us at 610-827-1150. Remember, you can also fax print out the form, fill it in by hand (legibly, please!) and fax it us at 610 827-1150 or 610 286-2099.
Give me some good reasons why should I bring my team to the TVFC.
- It’s at USTC, which is a fun place to begin with. This year there will be a huge soccer tournament (The PAGS Classic) going on at the same time, so there will be plenty of excitement. And in the evening at 7:30, the Philadelphia Pirates (see www.philadelphiapirates.net ) will be playing a home game.
- It’s a great place to get the attention of a lot of others who might not know about your sport and your team.
- Even if your team doesn’t win the Grand Prize, after preparing for and participating in this, they’ll be much better conditioned for their next game. They’ve got to do calisthenics at practice anyway, right? Might as well give them some extra motivation!
- It’s FREE!
- Many teams pay hundreds of dollars to register for and travel to tournaments in other states just for the possibility of bringing home bragging rights and a tin&plastic trophy. How about paying nothing for the possibility of bringing home bragging rights, a practical, usable trophy (click here) and a check for $1000? And, perhaps, doing a public service by inspiring other girls to join teams and improve their lives?
- If you’ve been selected to coach, you’re expected to take every opportunity to maximize your team’s fitness and performance, especially when such an opportunity is handed to you free.
What other prizes will you be awarding?
At this time, we haven’t decided… some of this depends on our sponsors. Modell’s Sporting Goods (http://www.modells.com), for instance, has been our most loyal sponsor, presenting gift certificates each year. We’re always seeking additional sponsors. We plan to present cash awards to second and third place teams as well as individual awards for the three events.
Where is the United Sports Training Center?
It’s on Rt 320, just off Rt 30 in Thorndale, which is just east of Coatesville. See USTC’s SITE for more details.
Our team is in the PAGS tournament. Can we compete too?
Absolutely! After all, wouldn’t your team enjoy that PAGS trophy a little more if you had a $1000 check to go along with it?
Do you plan to hold this every year?
Yes. Of course much depends on the success of this one, but we hope to increase the prizes and grow this into a major event which draws teams from other states and is a regular news item.
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