JFK Challenge

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“In 1962, JFK gave a speech to the nation challenging them to make a “great national effort.” He held the La Sierra High PE up as the model for the nation to follow. 4,000 high schools followed this program. This is the only known digitized copy of his speech. The footage shows one high school PE class. Remember, this is a normal PE class at the high school. This was PE 50 years ago in America!”

As you an read from the sentence above, caption for the video below, our History shows that Physical Education had a greater importance decades ago. This is an important aspect of fitness and to a greater extent, our economy as well (as healthier individuals cost less money to the government or corporations, but that’s not what I want to stress here).

Georges Hébert was a pioneer in his time and place, and others have also made waves, such as Stan LeProtti did.

My friend and fit pro peer Ron Jones of The Lean Berets has been working on bringing forth an important documentary on the subject of Physical Education and History. In his own words:

“What I want everyone to underscore is the technical quality of the instructors and the student instructors.  The teachers were PE teachers FIRST.  They understood that quality PE led to better athletes.

We have not been able to uncover any injury issues too.  If fact, no one we have interviewed can cite an injury at all and this is covering decades of work.  They have a few in normal PE activities like football, etc. which came after the calisthenic warm up drills and before the end of the class when they finished with apparatus equipment, but the actual footage in the film teaser we show—NO injuries.  They were well trained, resilient, flexible steel if you will…
It’s not a “local” story as much as it is an international physical culture story in some aspects.
The deeper story is the amazing life transformations that happened during the PE tenure and afterwards as the boys took these lessons forward into amazing careers.  They kept coming back to the PE program setting them up for success…for decades.  How many can trace back their success in life to a “PE” program?  There was something truly special here.
It’s not about a physical PE program exclusively!  That is the obvious, the proverbial tip of the iceberg, the superficial story.  What is underneath and behind?  That is the full FILM.  Yes, FILM. We are not just wanting to make a video, but a full documentary film that will inspire mind, body, and spirit.
The methods are still valid today.”
– Ron Jones


One comment on “JFK Challenge”

  1. Dalilah R Serrano

    I loved this article. I’m a parent who works all the time to make ends meet each month. And sometimes I dont have enough. But I love my children and I want them to be healthy. I’m physically inclined… but my child is not. How can I help? Can you write or make an article that we can show our PE teachers and or schools in what they can do? In terms of them feeling like there are not many resources for them. How about something like…. “what all PE teachers should know” or “what the federal government and school districts dont want you to know” or “how to get funds for pyshical education at your school” please. This could help me get the ball rolling. Or can you lead me to the right direction in where I can get this information without calling to give them the opportunity to say they cant do anything or that there isn’t anything we can do when we know that’s not true.


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