The 2018 National PE & School Sport Institute- Q and A with Artie Kamiya

I am really looking forward to attending the 2018 National PE & School Sport Institute this summer in Asheville, North Carolina. It is scheduled for July 23 - July 25, and takes place at the Sherrill Center, on the UNC campus. I have never been able to attend the PE and Sport Institute since it has typically fallen on the week my school district has our Pre-Planning days.

These pre-planning days are considered “critical days” and it is next to impossible to get permission for a professional leave day during that time. If your district is like mine, we tend to have to sit in on many meetings that rarely pertain to us but are “required”. The last couple years, it was all I could do to not get up from one of these meetings, jump in my car and head to Asheville to hang with some of the best PE and health professionals in the world!!

Since I retired in February of 2018, I now have the freedom to go to any professional development experience I desire, and the PE Institute is first on my “bucket list” this year. I have heard so many GREAT things about the two day conference including the welcoming spirit of the organizers and intimate bond many people receive from other attendees. Since I am an avid participant on social media, I am also aware of who attends the PE Institute and every year seems like an “All Star” cast of who’s who in physical education! I am positive the professional development is “off the chain” and I look forward to learning from the best of the best this July!

Although I have an idea what is in store for me at the 2018 National PE & School Sport Institute, I wanted some background information and questions answered from the founder and organizer himself, Artie Kamiya. Artie has a TRUE passion for his conference and spends a lot of time and effort to make sure it matches his demanding vision!

I constructed 10 questions for Artie to answer so that we could find out a little about the past, present and future of this coveted gathering of physical educators:

1. When did the National PE Sport Institute first begin?

The National PE & School Sport Institute first began in the summer of 2012. It took exactly 6 months for a small group of physical education friends to collaborate, identify the venue, create the flyers, mail them out, and wait to see if the world was ready for a new style of professional development training.

2. Why was the PE Institute created?

This PE Institute was created to re-capture the imagination of physical education teacher-leaders towards doing the hard work of connecting the written, taught, and tested curriculum in the same manner as other academic subjects like science, math, and language arts.

3. Who usually attends the PE Institute?

The type of excited and dedicated educators who attend the PE Institute are “out-of-the box” thinkers; individuals unwilling to accept the status quo within physical education and sport, and folks who ask, “is there a better way?”

4. Where does the PE institute take place? Has it always been there? Why is it located there?

This annual summer event takes place at the Sherrill Center Complex on the campus of the University of North Carolina - Asheville. In our initial

planning, two locations were considered – the beach (Wilmington, North Carolina) and the mountains - Asheville. In the end, Asheville won out due to having a regional airport, a vibrant art and music scene, and being a well-known summer tourist destination for the Southeast section of the United States. In other words, it is a place where teachers and their families can visit year-after-year and not see everything Asheville has to offer.

5. What makes the PE institute different from other conferences?

There are three primary differences between the PE Institute and other great professional development events. The first is our “Super Fans.” These are people who keep coming back year-after-year. They create the warm and inviting feel of the event and the unusual energy this gathering generates. The second reason is the outstanding and fantastic keynoters. These are hand-picked motivational presenters who have tremendous drive, passion, and ability. They are life changing! The third reason is the cutting-edge #PEGeeks breakout session presenters. If you were to add all the contacts and followers our cadre of breakout presenters have on Twitter and Facebook, it would easily surpass over 250,000 physical education teachers worldwide.

6. What can a first-time attendee expect at the PE Institute?

First-time attendees can expect to be greeted with smiles and hugs for our friendly welcoming committee, laughter and fun from our nightly

social events, and a home-town feeling as family members reunited near and far. It is not unusual to have teachers attend who have travelled long distances to get here. For example, last year we had participants from over 37 different states and 11 foreign countries. We try to do our best in making everyone feel right at home!

7. What are some highlights from past PE Institutes…things that have stuck out in your mind that were outstanding or noteworthy?

As you can guess, there have been many memorable moments. For example, when Joey Feith met Dr. George Graham. Joey had used George’s textbook in undergraduate school and was so thrilled to get to meet, talk, and laugh with him at the PE Institute. Or when the entire crew of PHYSEDagogy was finally able to meet together at the Institute. You see, while they had been working together for years on the internet, they had never actually physically met together. As you can imagine, it was an awesome time to have these cutting-edge #PhysEd millennials in Asheville.

8. What can we expect for the 2018 PE Institute? Will there be anything different this year that can be noted?

This year, participants can expect to be taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotions – laughing and sometimes crying – as our ultra-talented group of keynoters will share their personal stories of persistence, faith, gratitude, and hope. I believe we may have assembled the most interesting group of keynoters imaginable for you this summer. All of these individuals have been in the trenches for numerous decades, have been the pioneers of physical education in the past, and will inspire all of us towards the future with their stories!

9. Where can someone go to get information and/or register for the 2018 PE Institute?

The best and quickest way to learn more about the 2018 National

Physical Education & School Sport Institute is to visit our website -

There you will be able to see our keynoter line-up, links to our registration portal, lodging information, and our daily program of events.

Individuals can also e-mail me ( or call me on my cell (919.818.6486) if they have any follow-up questions or concerns.

10. What drives you to continue hosting and organizing such an outstanding conference every year? Where does your passion come from? It seems like a lot of work…is it?

I am driven to doing this event, because I know that teachers need

to learn from the best in order to be their best. Not just the best in their state, but by the best people we can gather from across the United States and around the world. While it is plenty of work, it is worthwhile work. Plus, it’s fun!

11. How has the PE Institute changed over the years? What is on the horizon for future years- past 2018?

The biggest change to the Institute was the realization we needed to go beyond the borders of the United States in order to significantly change the way we do business in our country. So, in 2015 we actively sought the top five physical education personalities on social media around the world to attend the Institute. They all agreed to come, and our event has never been the same since.

In the future, I believe we need to create a place where all educators who value physical literacy can be heard. Perhaps a focus around physical literacy may be in the works for future Institutes to come. (this is bold for some reason)

Thanks so much to Artie for answering these questions and hope it will SPARK some new and established physical education teachers to head over to Asheville, NC this summer for some of the best PE and health professional development in the world!!!

Upon graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Masters of Arts in Teaching in 1978, Artie Kamiya proudly started his career as an elementary physical education teacher for Wake County Public Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina. Filled with a passion for writing, he started The Great Activities Newspaper in 1982. A few years later, The Elementary Teachers Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Games was published.

By this time, Artie had been hired by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as a Physical Education Consultant. He would remain with this agency for 18 years through a variety of job roles including the Section Chief for Healthful Living Education. As Section Chief, he supervised a group of 11 professionals responsible for health, physical education, athletics, sports medicine, and dance education. In 2005, Artie left where he began. He retired as the Senior Administrator for K-12 Health and Physical Education with Wake County Schools.

Artie currently is the part-time Executive Director of NCAAHPERD-SM. He is also known as the President and Founder of the Great Activities Publishing Company and establishing the National Physical Education & School Sport Institute, the official summer camp for #PEGeeks worldwide!

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