Get fit and become connected with UConn’s newest adventure: Jonathan’s Challenge


COVID-19 has presented many difficulties, one being finding a way to unite our own UConn campus when we’re all spread across the country and world. Despite virtual classes continuing and not everyone getting the chance to live near campus, there are ways which students can work together to achieve one common goal. The UConn Recreation Center has created Jonathan’s Challenge: a fitness challenge with a fun twist.  

UConn Student Activities, UConn Recreation and Student Activities from UConn’s Stamford Campus have all teamed up to create an epic challenge that can get any student, no matter where they are, involved.  

“Jonathan’s Challenge is an eight-week university wide initiative to promote and recognize student engagement and participation in events across all UConn campuses, which includes in-person, hybrid or virtual activities,” said UConn Student Activities member Mark Flynn. “Participants will earn prizes and rewards through engagement with the challenge and participating in Jonathan’s Challenge eligible activities.”  

While on surface level Jonathan’s Challenge may just seem fitness centered, it’s so much more.  

“It encompasses the entire UConn community, from the main campus to the regional campuses, and any student can participate regardless of where or how they are enrolled this semester,” said Flynn. “The challenge highlights unity and collaboration amongst multiple departments and programs who prioritize programming for students.” 

So, how do you get involved? Begin by visiting Jonathan’s Challenge website to learn more about the program and view the calendar of eligible Jonathan’s Challenge events. Then you proceed to sign up and register for the program. Attendance for events on the Jonathan’s Challenge calendar are tracked and are all worth one point.  

“Registration is open throughout eight weeks, but the sooner you accept the challenge, the easier it is to begin racking up points,” said UConn Stamford Student Activities staff Shona Evans.  

It doesn’t stop there. According to UConn Recreation Associate Director Bhavin Parekh, in order to complete Jonathan’s Challenge students need to earn 30 points, which then will award them their Challenge badge and a Jonathan’s Challenge Prize Pack and t-shirt.  

“There are weekly drawings every Monday for gift cards that will be sent electronically, as well as drawings at the conclusion of the program for bigger prizes for those who have completed 30 points,” said Parekh.  

Jonathan’s Challenge has really been a team effort amongst various individuals located in many different areas. Students Activities, UConn Rec and Student Activities in Stamford have been able to develop Jonathan’s Challenge in just the month of January.  

“Our collective marketing teams have worked hard to design the JC graphics, as well as the website,” said Parekh. “We’ve leveraged our collective areas of expertise to build calendars, registration and develop the tracking and leaderboard.”  

Associate Director of UConn Recreation Mike Dalfonso hopes this challenge encourages students to participate in a range of activities, while connecting with something new and to “be rewarded for pushing their limits.”  

Register today to participate in Jonathan’s Challenge up until March 28. The leaderboard updates every Monday and Thursday, so it’s never too late to sign up and join the fun.  

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