More than 40 Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) have jumped on board a new craze designed to get active while having fun.

The brains behind the fun ‘40-Second Challenge’ is Peta Haynes, the sports coordinator at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania.

She said she and her colleagues, Peter McIntosh and Liz Reakes, designed the challenge during the COVID-19 lockdown to get students moving and interacting – and now 41 SCS schools are taking part!

“Sydney Catholic Schools Sport was looking for a way that they could get kids participating in a challenge,” Ms Haynes said. “The challenge is open to those schools that would like to compete with one another in a fun and safe way during the coronavirus.”

The 40-second challenge is made up of weekly physical activities, and the school keeps score of students’ performance. Videoing yourself completing challenges is entirely optional.

The challenge groups students in year groups – Kindergarten to Year 2, Years 3 to 4 and Years 5 to 6 – with ranging difficulty levels.

Schools’ challenge

Ms Haynes and her colleagues felt it was important other schools got in on the fun as well, which is how the inter-school challenge was born.

“The inter-school challenge allows schools to challenge each other in a safe and friendly COVID-free environment,” she said, adding the activities will go a long way to building school morale and boosting student wellbeing during this tough time.

“This challenge is two-fold, in that it allows students to participate in school within stages and or classes, as well as the teachers challenging each other within their own school,” Ms Haynes said.

“The activities cover a variety of fundamental movement skills and cater to all levels of ability.”

The ‘Shake and Shimmy’ challenge has been the students’ favourite. It involves shaking ping pong balls out of a tissue box by shaking your hips.

All students will receive a participation certificate at the end of the challenge.

Participating schools

  • Holy Cross Woollahra
  • Holy Family Menai
  • Holy Innocents’ Croydon
  • Mary Immaculate Bossley Park
  • Mater Dei Blakehurst
  • Our Lady of Fatima Kingsgrove
  • Our Lady of the Annunciation Pagewood
  • Our Lady of the Assumption North Strathfield
  • Our Lady of the Rosary Fairfield
  • Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Randwick
  • Sacred Heart Mosman
  • Sacred Heart Villawood
  • St Aloysius Cronulla
  • St Ambrose Concord West
  • St Brendan’s Annandale
  • St Brendan’s Central Bankstown
  • St Brigid’s Marrickville
  • St Catherine Labouré Gymea
  • St Charles Ryde
  • St Christopher’s Holsworthy
  • St Christopher’s Panania
  • St Declan’s Penshurst
  • St Fiacre’s Leichhardt
  • St Finbar’s Sans Souci
  • St Francis Xavier’s Ashbury
  • St Francis Xavier’s Arncliffe
  • St Joachim’s Lidcombe
  • St Joan of Arc Haberfield
  • St John’s Auburn
  • St Joseph the Worker Auburn South
  • St Joseph’s Como/Oyster Bay
  • St Joseph’s Moorebank
  • St Joseph’s Riverwood
  • St Margaret Mary’s Randwick
  • St Martha’s Strathfield
  • St Mary’s Concord
  • St Patrick’s Kogarah
  • St Patrick’s College Sutherland
  • St Therese’s Denistone
  • St Therese’s Mascot
  • St Thomas More’s Catholic School Brighton Le Sands


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