Ophea’s Raise the Bar Intramural Program provides an easy-to-follow 4-step process to guide educators every step of the way. These steps include:
- Establishing your intramural committee
- Completing a needs and assets assessment to determine the focus of your intramural program
- Generating an action plan to guide your committee’s work
- Selecting strategies for monitoring, reflecting on, and acknowledging the success of your program
- More in-depth information about the key components of the program
- Tools and resources to support implementation (e.g.: sample action plan, sample activities, and evaluation templates)
- Sample activities to get you started and add variety to your program
- How to submit your program information for the opportunity to be recognized with a certificate for being an Ophea Intramural Participation School. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.
Step 1: Establish a Committee
Running an intramural program takes commitment and passion from the staff advisors and student leaders involved. Creating a sustainable intramural program that may be used and built upon each year starts with building a strong intramural committee that is representative of your whole school community. Therefore, intramural committee members must include school staff and students who reflect the diversity of the students in your school.
This step provides tips to help you think through the process of establishing your intramural committee. By the end of Step 1 you will have established a team of staff and students who represent the diversity of the school community. Each member of the team is recruited based on their commitment to working together to organize and run events or activities that provide opportunities for all students to be engaged in the school during non-instructional time. The committee can be a part of an existing committee within the school.
Step 2: Evaluate Needs and Assets
It is important to take time to evaluate the needs of the school community and the assets available before making any decision about the activities you will organize as part of your intramural program. It is also important to list your school’s existing assets (what your school already has), which can be leveraged as you plan your program. Once this information has been collected, the intramural committee will be able to make informed decisions with a clear understanding of the students’ needs, the school's assets, and the opportunities.
This section is designed to support you in determining strategies for evaluating the needs and assets in your school. By the end of Step 2, your intramural committee will have located and/or collected key information related to your school’s needs, assets, and opportunities to make informed decisions about activities to offer as part of your intramural program that will engage students and increase participation. Using data gathered from the students through student surveys, polls, or focus groups can be valuable in determining what students are interested in and what will motivate them to participate in intramural activities and clarify what their needs are. What you plan to offer may also be determined based on information already known from local data collection such as the school profile data.
Step 3: Develop and Implement Your Action Plan
Based on the key information collected from your needs and assets evaluation, your committee can now decide which intramural activities and format options you might offer for your school. To be able to take meaningful steps towards offering an intramural program that motivates more students to be physically active and connected to their school, it is important that a clear, detailed, and realistic action plan is developed. An action plan helps you formulate your thinking and consider all the elements that need to be considered when planning, running, and monitoring your program and then reflecting on its success. An action plan also ensures that you are focused on the needs of the students and using your school assets effectively. This action plan will become your intramural committees’ road map to guide their work, track their progress, and recognize and acknowledge their successes.
This step of the process will help you develop your action plan. By the end of Step 3, your committee will have developed a comprehensive plan that identifies the events or activities you want to plan and run, helps you determine the roles and responsibilities of your committee, and provides other essential details to guide you in creating and sustaining an intramural program.
Step 4: Monitor and Reflect
It is important that your intramural committee monitors the action plan to ensure the program has the impact you intended, such as increasing engagement amongst students who have not participated in intramurals to date. All plans can and usually do change, so monitoring your progress helps you update and revise your action plan in order to address any changes needed such as having to reschedule an event or activity due to weather or facility availability.
Reflection is an important part of the process because it allows the committee to discuss their experiences of planning and running the intramural event or activity, reflect and document their challenges and successes, and identify future intramural opportunities to meet the needs and interests of participants.
Taking time to monitor the plan, reflect on the event or activity, and recognize and acknowledge the contribution of others is essential to sustaining a vibrant intramural program, whether it consists of one event or activity, a few throughout the year, or a comprehensive yearly intramural schedule.
This step of the process will help you consider how you will monitor your action plan, provide a few strategies that may be useful to reflect and document your challenges and successes, and provide ideas for recognizing the contributions of the committee, participants, and other volunteers.
By the end of Step 4 you will have implemented, monitored, and modified (as needed) the activities in your action plan, reflected on your successes and recognized everyone who contributed to the intramural activity or program.
Recognition for Participation
It is important to acknowledge the success of your intramural program and recognize everyone who contributed to its success including committee members, participants, and other staff and volunteers. It is also important to take time to periodically recognize the efforts of organizers and participants throughout the program, not just at the end of the entire program. For example, you could give recognition at the conclusion of each event or activity offered in a full-year program or during an activity that may occur over successive days and/or weeks of an event. However you choose to do it, this element should be part of your action planning in Step 3 and reflections in Step 4.
By participating in Ophea’s Raise the Bar Intramural Program, including registering and submitting program information about all four steps, your school has the opportunity to be recognized by Ophea with a certificate for being an Intramural Participant School. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.
For more information about the Raise the Bar Intramural Program 4-Step Process, register for the Raise the Bar Intramural Program.