Everyone wins when you combine exercise with fundraising. Whether you hold a 10k race, leap around the school playground or hit the gym, our ideas will get hearts racing and funds flowing.
All you need for this fitness fundraiser is enough space to create a course and some willing volunteers to act as marshals. Hold the event on the school grounds, in a nearby park or athletics club, or even on local bridleways and footpaths (be sure to obtain the necessary permissions). Contact local businesses to ask for sponsorship and prizes. Mix things up by asking participants to dress up or run part of the course backwards.
A bikeathon is an excellent fitness activity for families. Find a safe off-road route in your local area, such as a Sustrans path and identify routes of different distances to suit all ages and fitness levels. Charge a registration fee and encourage participants to get sponsored. Encourage local businesses to support the event or donate prizes for the participants.
Hills and mountains
Take inspiration from events such as the Three Peaks Challenge and ask your supporters to climb their local hills. Plan the event for a particular weekend or hold it during the school summer holidays and encourage families to conquer a new peak each week.
Setting up an obstacle course is a great way to utilise the school playing fields and any sports or gym equipment available to your PTA, such as hula hoops and hurdles. Involve each class by asking them to design part of the course. Add a twist by challenging participants to kick a football around the entire course or scale it up by hiring some big inflatables. If it rains, add extra mud to the challenge. Work with the school to run the event during the school day or hold it at the weekend. Keep the fun going for longer with refreshments and stalls for children who have already completed the course.
A triathlon is an event that people of all ages and skill levels will enjoy. Competitive and sporty parents can take it seriously, and children will appreciate the variety of activities. A typical triathlon consists of swimming, cycling, and running, but you can pick other activities since the term “triathlon” simply means an athletic contest with three different events. Set participants up for success by choosing age-appropriate difficulty levels and organise the activities consecutively or over several days.
High energy workout
Are there any fitness instructors in your school community? Or, do any parents know someone who teaches classic aerobics or high-energy dance, such as Zumba? Alternatively, ask the school PE teacher to lead a traditional PE lesson consisting of exercises such as star jumps and burpees. If possible, plan a range of sessions with varying intensity and duration. Either charge an admission fee or ask participants to seek sponsorship.
For a different approach to working out, try a mass yoga, pilates or tai chi class. These activities still offer great fitness benefits and may suit people who are less keen on running and leaping about. Ask if there’s a teacher in your school community or if a parent can recommend a contact. Encourage participation by giving out prizes or motivational rosettes for the best downward dog or person who tries the hardest.
Like a school disco but with a fundraising angle, holding a dance-athon allows supporters to let their hair down while raising money for the school. Hold it in the school hall, on the field or in a local park, seeking the appropriate permissions. Spread the word and encourage as many people as possible to attend. Ask participants to get sponsored for the number of hours they can dance without stopping.
Everyone loves a bouncy castle and pupils will love jumping to their heart’s content. Start by obtaining quotes for the inflatable hire and aim to find a business sponsor to cover the cost. Send paper sponsor forms home or set up a fundraising page to collect sponsorship money. Invite children to bounce for a set amount of time while volunteers count how many bounces they achieve. Hold a competition for the winners of each key stage to compete against each other to determine who can bounce for the longest.
Exercise at home
For a simple approach, suggest fitness activities that participants can complete at home. Encourage families to develop their own challenges by dusting off unused exercise equipment or using their gardens for a skipping activity. Create a PTA exercise video and share it on YouTube, or suggest workout videos from Joe Wicks or Jump Start Jonny. Ask pupils and their families to get sponsored and count how many minutes they work out for.