St Philip's Christian College Cessnock


St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock students hitting high notes in fitness

“Believer” by Imagine Dragons is the number one song choice by students at the Cessnock school in the Hunter Valley.

And it’s appropriate given the school principal’s belief in shaking up PE lessons at St Philip’s in response to lagging interest in traditional fitness classes and the nation’s rising childhood obesity levels.

With an estimated 28% of children and adolescents in Australia being overweight or obese, Principal Darren Cox took an unprecedented high-volume approach to his student’s level of physical activity.

Principal Cox understood not all students wanted to throw a javelin or play soccer, but fitness was important.

A great range of gym equipment and cardio machines were installed in the new sports centre (officially opening 15 March) plus an Australian first for schools.

Technology and choice

St Philip’s Christian College in Cessnock is the inaugural crowdDJ® school, giving students the technology and the choice of their music while they work out and is now included in programs for all students grades 5-12.

Students pick songs from an interactive kiosk, their smart phones or request tracks from their teacher who is in control during class time. What’s significant, students are using the facilities before and after school as well as during their lunch breaks.

Over 3,840 songs have been chosen in the few months the gym has been open.

In a musical snapshot that is quite typical of high school students, after ‘Believer’ by Imagine Dragons the top songs come from 5 Seconds of Summer, George Ezra, Panic! At The Disco, Anne-Marie and Peking Duk.

Some surprising music choices

What is surprising though, is the popularity of some songs that older generations would know and love.

Toto’s ‘Africa’, released in 1982 could easily be their teachers’ favourite song, and surprisingly comes in at #6 most played! Other interesting choices include ‘Take On Me’ by a-ha, ‘Karma Chameleon’ by Culture Club and Avril Lavigne’s ‘Sk8er Boi’.

Principal Darren Cox says “Our senior students love having control over the music and the new fitness facility is a massive hit. It would be wonderful to see other schools around the nation follow the St Philip’s lead.”

And they are. Another two schools are joining the crowdDJ® class of 2019.

Congratulations to St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock on the opening of their gym and a fantastic initiative!

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