The Fitness Challenge Handbook

The Finish Line

A strong finish for your challenge will help participation in the next challenge

The Finish Line

After all the preparation by the administrator and the effort put forth by the participants, the finish date finally arrives. This should be a relief for all parties concerned but there is still work to do. Final data points must be collected, feedback provided, and awards presented.

Final Participant Data

Data collection, verification and entry will happen much as it did throughout the challenge except for the hard cutoff date. If the challenge mode involved the administrator taking measurements such as in a weight loss challenge, this will need to be scheduled for all participants on the last day of the challenge. If the number of participants is too large or disbursed geographically, multiple administrators will be needed to handle the final weigh-in. If participants have been collecting and entering their own data into a system, they should be informed that no entries will be accepted after the last challenge day.

Declaring the Winner

If you have an automated feedback system that reports user standings in real-time, most challenge leaders will be monitoring it on the last day to see if they won. Even so, you will still want to send out an email or distribute flyers declaring the winner of the contest with notable runners-up. This notification should also include the awards that each participant won. If you are already planning on running an additional challenge, mentioning it here would be appropriate and recommended to generate interest.
The exception to announcing the winners in this fashion would be if the administrator wants to keep the winner a surprise until an awards ceremony can be held. This adds some suspense to the challenge and can be effective in generating attention but it may also be impractical for dispersed or large challenges. One additional issue with keeping the challenge winner a secret is that any automated challenge reporting systems must be deactivated prior to the tally on the final day.
So what happens in a tie? Some challenges lend themselves to producing an inconclusive winner. Daily checklist challenges, challenges with low daily entry limits and others will create a situation where two or more participants or teams are tied for the highest possible points. In this case, it is better received to split the awards than to randomly select a winner. If you have two participants tied for first, add the first and second prizes together and divide by two. Obviously, some awards are easier to divide than others and, if your budget allows, you may want to simply provide additional equal awards to the co-winner. If you believe there is a possibility of having a tie in your competition, you should include your method for resolving it in your Challenge Definition Document.

Awards Presentation

An effective way to wrap up a successful fitness challenge is to sponsor an awards ceremony for the participants. Typically, this will be a low-key event that takes place in a break room or cafeteria where all of the participants are invited. Obviously, for large challenges, geographically dispersed challenges, or challenges that span work shifts, more than one ceremony will be necessary. While it is certainly not required, a healthy snack and beverage for those attending is a nice gesture.
During the ceremony, a senior member of staff will typically present the awards to the winners with the help of the challenge administrator. This reinforces management support for the process and builds goodwill with staff. This is also a good time to mention any planned challenges to help build interest and spread the word.
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