Physical Recreation – Dukeofed
Physical Recreation

Physical Recreation

The Physical Recreation section of the Award encourages young people to participate in sport and other physical recreation for the improvement of health and fitness.

Encouraging healthy behaviours has benefits, not only for Participants but also for their communities, whether through improved health, or active participation in team activities. This Section specifically aims to improve the health, team skills, self-esteem and confidence of Participants.

Examples of Physical Recreation

  • Ball sports – football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, cricket, golf, tennis, netball
  • Athletics – running, jumping, throwing, triathlon, decathlon
  • Water sports – surfing,canoeing, kayaking, swimming, water polo, diving, rowing
  • Martial arts – karate, judo, kickboxing, boxing, taekwondo, kendo
  • Animal sports – horse riding, polo
  • View more here

Time requirements

  • Bronze – At least 3 months or 6 months if chosen as a Major Section
  • Silver – At least 6 months or 12 months if chosen as a Major Section
  • Gold – At least 12 months or 18 months if chosen as a Major Section


For Full Section Details see Chapter 3 of the Handbook

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 3.4 for full details

For this Section, Participants must:
1. Undertake an activity regularly where they work up a sweat, for the required minimum length of time depending on Award level chosen
2. Meet the minimum time requirements, depending on The Award level chosen
3. Show regular commitment, progress and improvement in their chosen activity
4. Understand that regular time commitment means at least one (1) hour per week
5. Undertake activities substantially in their own time. This means that while some activity may take place within school, university or work hours, most of it should occur outside of these scheduled times.

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 3.5 for full details

Assessment is undertaken by a suitably experienced and/or qualified Assessor (Volunteer#) who has been nominated by the Award Centre or identified by the Participant, and approved by their Award Leader, on behalf of the Award Centre. Please note that the selected Skill activity may require Assessors to be qualified or registered with a relevant club, institution or accredited

In most circumstances an Assessor should not be an immediate family member.
Assessors both help Participants set goals for their chosen activity and assess whether or not a Participant has undertaken the required regular effort and has strived to achieve their goals. Group activities are to be assessed with regard to each individual’s contribution to planning,execution and completion.

Assessors are responsible for writing the final assessment report and signing off the Section which they are assessing. The frequency of the contact and monitoring between the Participant and the Assessor will depend on the activity and the age/level of independence of the Participant. As a guide, every 2 – 4 weeks may be appropriate.

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 3.7 for full details

Here is a guide on talking through the steps to your Participants
1. Choose your activity. If there’s something you really want to do, but don’t know how to go about it, talk to your Award Leader, your friends, your family, and do some research online
2. With the guidance of your Award Leader, identify your Assessor(s). They must be suitably experienced and/or qualified and be approved by your Award Leader before you can undertake any Duke of Ed activities with them
3. Set yourself challenging and realistic goals, in consultation with your Assessor(s). It is really important that you do this before you start your activity, so you know what you are working towards
4. Pursue these goals for the required time (depending on The Duke of Ed level being undertaken), and log hours and activity into your Record Book
5. You may like to keep a journal. This could be a diary, photos, video or a blog
6. Keep in touch with your Assessor so that they can monitor your progress and discuss any concerns you may have about achieving your goals
7. Once you have completed your activity and reached your goal, ask your Assessor to complete the final assessment in your Record Book
8. Once you have completed all Sections, submit your Record Book to your Award Leader for final assessment of your Award
9. Remember, your Award Leader and Assessor are there to guide you and help with any questions you have along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 3.8 for full details

Below are some ideas for the Physical Recreation Section to discuss with your Participants. Remember, this list is a guide only and is not exhaustive. The best measure for deciding whether or not an activity is suitable is to assess whether the Participant will improve their physical wellbeing when undertaking it. If in doubt, please contact your State/Territory Award
Operating Authority for advice.
Please note that a Participant may be involved in more than one of these activities as part of their Physical Recreation Section of The Duke of Ed

Prior to undertaking any activities, please refer to The Duke of Ed insurance policies available under resources
– Acrobatics/Trapeze
– Aerobics
– Athletics
– Canoeing
– Cycling
– Dance (can be individual)
– Gymnastics
– Martial arts e.g. karate, aikido, judo, kickboxing, fencing, kendo (insurance restrictions
need to be observed)
– Horse riding
– Ice skating
– Indoor rock climbing
– Jogging
– Jumping (high, long, triple)
– Motorsports
– Orienteering
– Personal training programs
– Running
– Skateboarding
– Skiing/snowboarding
– Skipping
– Surfing
– Swimming
– Tennis
– Throwing (hammer, javelin, shot put)
– Walking
– Yoga

– Baseball
– Basketball
– Cricket
– Dancing (all types)
– Football
– Golf
– Handball
– Hockey
– Ice Hockey
– Lacrosse
– Netball
– Polo
– Rowing
– Sailing
– Soccer
– Softball
– Squash
– Synchronised swimming
– Tennis
– Touch football
– Volleyball
– Water polo

How Do I Know If An Activity Is Suitable For The Skill or Physical Recreation Section?

Refer to the Handbook Chapter 3.9 for full details

Sometimes an activity seems to fit in both the Skill and Physical Recreation Sections, so how do you as a Award Leader give the best guidance for a Participant to select the Section that this activity will count towards? In order to understand whether an activity is more suitable for Skill or Physical Recreation, it is important to look at the overall ethos for each Section. For Physical Recreation, we talk about breaking a sweat and engaging in physical activity, whereas for Skill we talk about broadening your personal interests and skill set in a non-physical manner. Clay shooting or archery are Olympic Sports, but may be considered sedentary activities. However, these activities often require body strengthening and general aerobic fitness to perform safely and effectively.

Here are some examples where similar activities can be very different and how you would decide the most suitable Section for your Participant to undertake that activity.

Please note: These are examples only. There may be other activities like this where, as an Award Leader, you will be required to offer guidance to your Participants.


Example 1: A young person may enjoy fishing. Regular fishing on land is fairly sedentary and doesn’t require much physical exertion; therefore this could be classified as a Skill. On the other hand, fly fishing (which occurs in the water) tends to be more physically intensive. This may also apply to deep sea  fishing. Whilst participating in this activity, you break a sweat; therefore this is classed as Physical Recreation activity.


Example 2: Learning to drive is classified as a Skill as minimal physical activity is required. On the other hand, Motorsports is classed as Physical Recreation as this requires physical fitness.


Example 3: Participants may opt to do dance for their Physical Recreation section of their Duke of Ed. Styles of dance that are classified as Physical Recreation would include jazz, ballet, hip hop, salsa and tango. On the other hand, if a Participant opts to do choreography, this could be classified as a Skill as the focus of their work is not the physical activity. Likewise, dance theory could also be a Skill as the focus is on understanding the theory behind dance, not actually dancing.

If you are unsure about how an activity should be classified please check with your State/Territory Award Operating Authority before the activity is commenced.


“Challenge yourself to improve your performance, health and fitness.”