In the early 1890s, Physical Culture and Sports (PCS) experienced significant growth in Michigan, as Michigan became one of the first states to embrace and incorporate physical activities in the school systems. Controversy swirled around PCS on training techniques, gymnastic systems, and new teacher preparation programs, and sparked the first Physical Culture Section meeting of the Michigan State Teachers Association in 1896.

Growth of the Physical Culture Section was inconsistent until the Michigan State Physical Education Laws of 1900 and 1919 helped promote the need for professional PSC training for teachers. In 1915 a State Syllabus on Physical Training was developed, and during the 1920s State Directors of Physical Education began meeting as professionals. The first Physical Education State Journal was produced in 1927.

In 1928, the Michigan Physical Education Association (MPEA) was formed and Health and Physical Education enjoyed tremendous growth and development until 1932. The MPEA had affiliated with the National American Physical Education Association in 1930, but in 1932 when the post-war depression hit, the office of State Director of Health and Physical Education was discontinued, and along with it, physical education’s and MPEA’s motivating force.

By 1945, however, that adversity had provided the opportunity for state leadership to emerge, and the association reorganized and was successful in providing the services required by its members. Accomplishments during this 13 year period included:

  • Revision of the State Physical Education Law
  • Promoting Research
  • Publication of Association Bulletins
  • Sponsoring continuing education through conventions, conferences, and workshops.

MAHPERD members continue to support and participate in related organizations’ efforts (such as American Heart Association, Michigan Action for Healthy Kids, Safe Routes to School, and All Children Exercise Simultaneously) in promoting physical activity and healthy active living.

Additionally, MAHPERD recognizes its members for excellence and their contributions to their fields and schools through awards, grants, and scholarships.