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Personalising and extending athletic achievement using SportyPal

Tags: Health and physical education | Mathematics and statistics | Utilities/tools/gadgets | Primary | Upper primary |

During 2013, students at Stanley Avenue School in Te Aroha were empowered to take increased responsibility for developing their personal fitness using the utility application SportyPal.

SportyPal is no longer available. Ideas for other fitness apps are available on this list by AlternativeTo.

"Our school regularly reviews the way technology is embedded in effective learning and teaching."

eLPF 2014

Focusing Inquiry

A teacher at Stanley Avenue School was exploring ways to keep top athletes motivated towards achieving their fitness goals and selected SportyPal, an application downloaded (from the Google Play Store) to the class set of phones (supplied by Vodafone).

She chose this application because it allowed students to monitor their times and effort through the collection of the following data:

  • kilometres run
  • where they ran (using GPS)
  • minutes per km (this is graphed)
  • energy expended
  • comparison of performance from different runs

Teaching and Learning

Using SportyPal app

The school’s top athletes initially used the SportyPal application to allow the teacher to concentrate on supporting others in the class.

Students were initially taught how to use the SportyPal application.

One member of the group was responsible each day for recording their group's workout results.

The workout results were uploaded to the student's USPACE so that the group could analyse the day’s effort. (USPACE is one of the three spaces within the Ultranet Learning Management System. USPACE features an e-portfolio page for each student.)

The analysis looked at the kilometre by kilometre time as well as performance according to the gradient of the hills.

Students were encouraged to give feedback to other students.

Learning Inquiry

It became obvious that this application didn’t only motivate the top performers. The phones were shared around the groups and all students were given the opportunity to track their performance.

Each day one group downloaded their workout, and using the classes’ interactive whiteboard gave a recount of the positives and negatives from the run that day. This provided opportunities to include comparative analyses of their speed, times and distances, kilometres run, and energy expended.


The athletes appreciated knowing their capabilities and gained a greater appreciation of what 100% means for them.

Utilising this application with some of the class also allowed the teacher more time to provide further one to one and small group support to others.