May, • 2023 31

“The Challenge Day not only encourages the practice of physical activities and strengthens relations among cities, institutions, and people, but also dialogues with the institutional values and the Sesc dream for a more fair society for all. As a tool, the campaign this year aims to raise awareness among public managers and institutions to create feasible goals in their scenarios and develop community projects that use the campaign as a means to achieve such objectives. In addition, on the date and beyond it, keeping the idea alive throughout the year allows the elaboration of new proposals that contribute to the community in the pursuit for more human, inclusive, and democratic territories.”

Danilo Santos de Miranda Regional Director - Sesc São Paulo

“The 29th edition of Challenge Day strengthens the commitment among all the institutions that promote the event with the objectives planned for the next three editions, with emphasis on actions that present proposals for redefining physical sports spaces oriented to people, making cities more human, welcoming and accessible to the entire population. For the public, diversified activities will be offered, carefully planned throughout the American continent, to involve people with or without experience, so that they can understand the benefits of physical activities, valuing self-care and quality time for themselves in daily life.”

Carolina Seixas Manager of Sports - Sesc São Paulo | Coordinator of Challenge Day in the American Continent


São José dos Campos, 1996
São José dos Campos, 1996

The starting point

The winter of 1983 in Saskatoon, Canada, was especially cold. Thinking about the residents’ wellbeing, the mayor Clifford Wright suggested that they left their houses and went for a walk around the block. The idea was to get people active and warm while in movement. In the following year, Clifford invited the neighbor city and both made the walking at the same time. The essence of Challenge Day was created!

In 1990, TAFISA – The Association For International Sport for Allstarted promoting the event worldwide and gained more connections. In 1995, Sesc São Paulo  begun to coordinate the activities in Brazil and a few years later in Latin America. Nowadays, Sesc São Paulo coordinates the event in the entire American Continent.

Mayor Clifford and the Saskatoon citizens could never, ever, imagine that 20 years later, Challenge Day would mobilize over 43 million people, in 3.469 cities all over Americas (data 2017)

Are you ready?

  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2003
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2011
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Sesc São Paulo holds the event for the first time in Brazil in partnership with The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA). Pelé (at that time the Minister of Sport) attended the launching ceremony and the cities match-up, stating that the idea was “to incentive all Brazilians to practice sports.”

In a single phrase, the mayor of São José dos Campos – SP – Brazil expressed the essence of the event: “It is a great fun. It makes people remember that life is more than just working.”

SESC SP holds the coordination of Challenge Day in Latin America.

The campaign receives the institutional support of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization) and ISCA (International Sport and Culture Association).

SESC SP is in charge of the coordination of Challenge Day in the American Continent.

In Brazil, the National Congress receives the proposal of the law project 1300 requesting the creation of the National Challenge Day, to incentive the daily practice of physical activity and sport.

The celebration of Challenge Day 10th anniversary remarked the importance of physical activity with the publication of the book “O Desafio do Movimento” and the Seminar “Vida ativa, ação comunitária”.

In the year of the Pan-American Games, held in Brazil, the event brought to light the emotion of the athletes and their victories, while the common citizens stepped forward for a healthier living, considering sport an activity accessible to everyone.

In 2011, Challenge Day reached the record of participants in all editions – 4,023 communities – and 63.611.208 persons – in the American Continent.

If the technological evolution creates a comfort zone, with routines that demand lesser energy, on the other hand, the same tools can facilitate the creation of motivational networks in the search for quality of life. Challenge Day suggested the creation of networks to change paradigms and citizens.

Challenge Day stimulated cities to experience the appropriation of public spaces. The city halls and their partners we invited to rethink their structures and create cities more democratic and sustainable, with spaces dedicated to people and their needs of mobility, leisure and recreation.

Following the social changes, Challenge Day 2017 had a special focus on family and friends relationships. The campaign #FaceYourChallenge launched the idea that those who already practice physical activity and sports invited family and friends to do the same to incentive everyone to join the movement.

On April 5, Law No. 13.645/18 was enacted, establishing the National Challenge Day.