Implementation of a Triathlon Program for Primary School Students as part of Health and Physical Education Case Study

Main Article Content

Stuart Evans


Triathlon, Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale, Health and Physical Education, PACES


Introduction: The significance of triathlon is reflected in the teaching and development of motor, social and emotional skills. Because triathlon has great educational potential, this case study sought to explore whether a modified Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) survey can be used as a suitable measure of enjoyment of physical activity in elementary school children when applied to a sports-specific task such as triathlon.

Methods:  The sample consisted of 12 female elementary school students (10.3 ± 1.3 years) from an inner-city high school. A modified triathlon program was delivered for one hour per week over a four-week duration with a modified PACES survey distributed each week. Survey responses were coded and then averaged over the four-week duration with the children’s responses subsequently analyzed using a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test to examine differences in the coded characteristic response scores of the survey. Further comparisons were made using a Student’s t-test and a coefficient of variation (CV).

Results: A greater sense of pleasure and fun was reported by the participants at the conclusion of the four-week triathlon program while there was no change in the children’s sense of excitement (p < 0.5). Characteristic responses to ‘neutral’ decreased with a simultaneous increase in the ‘slightly enjoyed’ response when viewed over the four-week duration of the program (p <0.001)

Conclusions: This PACES case study was designed as a feasible, simple, and innovative approach to monitor enjoyment levels in elementary school children who participated in a triathlon program. Overall, the positive enjoyment reported from this simple, low-cost intervention could be used to inform the development of future sport-specific elementary school programs.

Abstract 44 | PDF Downloads 20


1. Case R, Branch, J. Event marketing: An examination of selected demographic and psychographic data of participants competing in the World’s foremost off-road triathlon event. Int Sports J. 2018;5(1).
2. Lepers R, Knechtle B, Stapley, P. Trends in triathlon performance: effects of sex and age. Sports Med. 2013; DOI:10.1007/s40279-013-0067-4.
3. Vukasevic V, Mitrovic M, Zivanovic N, Masanovic B. Comparative study of motor ability between basketball players from second leagues in Montenegro and Serbia. J Anthropol Sport Phys Edu. 2019; 3. DOI: 10.26773/jaspe.190103.
4. Kwasnicka D, Dombrowski S, White M, Sniehotta, F. Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: A systematic review of behaviour theories. Health Psy Rev. 2016;10(3).
5. Nigg C, Borrelli B, Maddock J, Dishman R. A theory of physical activity maintenance. App Psych. 2008; 7(4).
6. Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority. Accessed August 2 2023.
7. Wankel L. The importance of enjoyment to adherence and psychological benefits from physical activity. Int J Sport Psych. 1993;24.
8. Kimiecik J, Harris A. What is enjoyment? A conceptual/definitional analysis with implications for sport and exercise psychology. J Sport Ex Psych. 1996;18.
9. Kendzierski D, DeCarlo K. Physical activity enjoyment scale: two validation studies. J Sport Ex Psych. 1991;13(1).
10. Moore J, Yin Z, Hanes J, Duda J, Gutin B, Barbeau Paule. Measuring enjoyment of physical activity in children: validation of the physical activity enjoyment scale. 2009; J App Sport Psych,21(1). DOI: 10.1080/10413200802593612
11. Stone W, Lemanek, K. Developmental issues in children’s self-reports. In: Harter S, La Greca A, eds. Through the eyes of a child. Allyn & Boston; 1990.
12. De Civita M, Regier D, Alamgir AH, Anis AH, FitzGerald MJ, Marra CA. Evaluating health-related quality-of-life studies in pediatric populations: some conceptual, methodological and developmental considerations and recent applications. Pharmaco Economics. 2005;23(7).
13. Dunton G, Tscherne J, Rodriguez D. Factorial validity and gender invariance of the physical activity enjoyment scale (PACES) in older adolescents. Res Quart Ex Sport. 2009; 80(1). DOI:10.1080/02701367.2009.10599543
14. Mullen S, Olson E, Phillips S, Szabo N, Wójcicki, T, Mailey E, Gothe N, Fanning J, Kramer A, McAuley E. Measuring e1njoyment of physical activity in older adults: Invariance of the physical activity enjoyment scale (paces) across groups and time. Int J Beh Nutrition Phy Act. 2011;8. DOI:10.1186/1479-5868-8-103
15. Huffman M, Christ S, Ferraro F, Klenosky B, Marceau K, Amireault S. Questions to measure enjoyment of and satisfaction with physical activity: are they appropriate for use in an older population? Innov Aging. 2021;4(5). DOI: 10.1093/geroni/igab041.
16. Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Academic Press; 1992.
17. Chmielewski M, Sala M, Tang R, Baldwin A. (2016). Examining the construct validity of affective judgments of physical activity measures. Psych Assess. 2016; 28(9).
18. Stodden D, Goodway J, Langendorfer J, Roberton M, Rudisill E, Garcia C, Garcia L. A developmental perspective on the role of motor skill competence in physical activity: An emergent relationship. Quest; 2008; 60(2).