May, • 2023 31

“In its 28th edition, the Challenge Day 2022 represents an opportunity to reflect on the unprecedented experiences we have lived through over the past two years. As soon as the pandemic was established, we were urged to develop alternatives to deal with emergency demands in the fields of health, food, arts, sport, education, among other activities that integrate Sesc’s institutional action. As the situation became prolonged, everyday spheres such as encounters, spaces of conviviality, and social interactions demanded adjustments that only became possible with the digital universe. In such platforms, we create and deepen fields of human bonding, essential for well-being and exchanging knowledge.
The legacy of previous editions of the Campaign demonstrates that realizing this purpose is possible through interpersonal relationships, learning, and inclusion of people, in their plurality, in the various physical-sports modalities — an essential field of culture.”

Danilo Santos de Miranda Regional Director - Sesc São Paulo

“The motivation behind the Challenge Day 2022 can be compared to homecoming. After a long season without being able to occupy these defining addresses of our identities, we can return to the places where physical activities are broadly and fully possible, from the gathering of people.
With renewed conviction about the importance of the Campaign, which represents a moment in which some cities and their institutions offer contexts of awareness about the regular practice of sport, we seek to fulfill our role as promoters of health and quality of life.
With the improvement of the COVID-19-related scenario – a direct reflection of the vaccination of the Brazilian population – this edition of Challenge Day rescues and celebrates the face-to-face meeting. With actions that sensitize and expand access to various physical and sports practices, we propose the occupation of concrete spaces, focusing on the reduction of sedentary lifestyle and the consequent improvement of health and the individual and collective well living.”

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
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  • 1999
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  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2011
  • 2015
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  • 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.