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Strengthens partnership with SPARK™ to offer one stop shop for evidence-based PE solutions
Sportime & SPARK to honor 2016 Teachers of the Year at the
Since 1966, Sportime has remained committed to enhancing the health and wellness of our nation’s youth by helping them move more. Through expert-developed physical education, fitness and sports equipment, Sportime has offered creative solutions inspired by PE teachers supporting children of all abilities. Over the years, Sportime has grown from its humble beginnings as a supplier of products to the niche summer camp market to becoming a leading provider of recreational and sports equipment to the larger K-12 physical education and physical activity market. The brand also has evolved from exclusively providing supplies and equipment to offering coordinated PE and health curricula through its alignment with SPARK.
Reflections on 50 Years of Sportime: A History of Helping Kids to Keep Moving
- 1966: Sportime is founded by Larry Joseph as the
Select Service & Supply Co.in Atlanta, GA to supply products and equipment to summer camps in the Northeast region of the U.S.
- 1972: Company founder Larry Joseph and current Sportime President Peter Savits set their sights on expanding market opportunities for products.
- 1978: Transition to larger education market is completed with the launch of Sportime’s first catalog aimed at the K-12 PE community.
- 1989: Sportime evolves to offer coordinated PE and health curricula in conjunction with PE supplies and equipment, through its partnership with SPARK -- best known for its evidence-based curriculum and teacher training that ensure all students are actively engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during PE classes. Sportime is selected as the official supplier of equipment used in the original SPARK research study.
- 1989: Sportime and SPARK are awarded exclusive sponsorship of the SHAPE America Teacher of the YEAR program, which recognizes outstanding teacher performance and ability to motivate young students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.
- 1992: Sportime offers other specialized solutions to encourage physical and mental ability in children. The Company produces its first Abilitations catalog for physical and occupational therapists helping children with special needs.
- 1999: School Specialty acquires Sportime.
- 2001: Special needs offering expands with launch of the Integrations product line, which provides solutions for sensory integration challenges.
- 2002: School Specialty acquires the licensing rights to become the exclusive distributor of SPARK.
- 2006: School Specialty adds solutions in speech and language by acquiring the Speech Bin.
- 2016: “Sportime featuring SPARK” virtual storefront is launched, providing a single source for everything needed to teach physical education and physical activity, and promote lifelong health and wellness.
- 2016: SPARK and Sportime acquire rights to Healthy Kids Challenge® (HKC), a nationally recognized nutrition education program providing evidence-based information and best practices to help children develop skills for healthy eating and physical activity choices.
“This is truly a momentous occasion as we look back on 50 years of an incredible legacy in enhancing the well-being of our children through the power of physical activity, nutrition and education,” commented Dr. Kymm Ballard, Executive Director of SPARK. “We have made tremendous strides in developing and delivering research-based tools and curricula, and shaping best practices and standards that support and motivate our youth, the future producers and leaders, to pursue active and healthy lives. We have seen first-hand the transformative impact this has had on teachers, students and their families, including lower obesity rates which in turn have reduced the burden that communities carry in dealing with related chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. I’m enormously proud of our talented team and all their contributions to building the ground-breaking and holistic platform that Sportime, SPARK and now Healthy Kids Challenge is today. We look ahead to many more years of growth and success.”
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Sportime and SPARK will be hosting a number of insightful presentations, product demonstrations, and fun drawings and giveaways at this year’s
“Celebrating five decades of Sportime is testament to the quality and depth of the brand and the people behind it who have been developing innovative physical education equipment for years,” stated Doug Welles, Vice President, Specialty Businesses. “Physical education represents one of School Specialty’s key growth initiatives and with Sportime, SPARK and the addition of HKC, we are uniquely positioned to offer our customers a blend of equipment and curriculum that fosters physical well-being and health. We continue to drive innovation in our offerings, support our customers with the domain expertise they require, and align ourselves with the right industry partners to help students and those responsible for their wellness. We look forward to the coming year and building upon our successes.”
About Sportime and SPARK
Sportime and SPARK are the two premier physical education brands of
For more information on Sportime featuring SPARK, go to www.sportime.com. Follow us on social media: @Sportime_SPARK for Twitter and /Sportime_SPARK for Facebook.
School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products. Finally, through its SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well. SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics. For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.
Connect with School Specialty on social media; search School Specialty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For Ideas and resources, educational trends and inspiration for today’s educators – visit the Schoolyard blog.
Company Contact: Katie Fenton Marketing Manager, Sportime featuring SPARK Tel: 800-772-7573 ext. 2212 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Media Contacts: Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester
GW Communications(for School Specialty) Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068 Email: gwiener@GWCco.com / dionne@GWCco.com