AS Lewis Award – Excellence in Physical Education – win $500

May 10, 2021

The AS Lewis Award recognises excellence in critical analysis on a physical education topic.

The prize is $500 for each award. Entries close 5pm Monday 31 May 2021


Any student attending a New Zealand secondary school.


Critically analyse a physical education topic, drawn from research and or learning experiences in through and about movement. Draw conclusions for further thought and or action.

  • Provide a clear and concise introduction to the topic
  • Examine at least three perspectives on the topic
  • Examine the assumptions and stereotypes that may exist and connect these with any sociological themes and or biophysical knowledge where applicable. This may include who may be advantaged and or disadvantaged, where applicable?
  • Draw conclusions by explaining any consequences, need for further thought and or possible action
  • Use relevant research, and appropriate referencing, to support your analysis



A.S (Sam) Lewis was a giant figure in our history. He had a career of firsts: he was the first person to be appointed to a university in a role providing physical recreation to staff and students at the University of Canterbury in 1946. He was the first person to become an Associate of the Physical Education Society (when that status could only be achieved by examination), and the first person to complete the requirements (presentation of a thesis) to become a Fellow of the Society. In his university position, Sam published research and advocated for physical education to be an examinable subject in secondary schools, long before 6th Form Certificate and NCEA exams. He also edited the original Bulletin of the Society, the forerunner of the current Journal. Notably, Sam was the first recipient of the Sir Alexander Gillies Medal for, amongst other things, his outstanding management of the Associate and Fellowship qualifications examination process. Sam was innovative, meticulous, strongly principled, humble, and articulate and he established warm, enduring relationships. It was no surprise that he was invited to chair the international committee which organised the conference associated with the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch in 1974. He was also sought after as a fitness trainer. He developed the Canter Plan and Target Training, both fitness training regimes characterised by the accumulation of scores against established tables. He was also a leading interpreter of Sheldon’s system of bodily classification, Somatotyping. Sam played a major role in writing examination papers for members to advance their qualifications. In the early days of this award, the essay competition was open to tertiary and secondary students. In 2016 it was narrowed to secondary school students, when the Lady Joan Gillies Award was introduced for undergraduate students.