Gaitor Challenge

GaitorChallengeLogo_WebOriginally developed by third-year UF DPT students in 2008, the GAiTOR Challenge is designed to promote physical activity in local Gainesville residents.

Through implementing a community health and wellness program, physical therapy students are challenged to find innovative and creative methods to motivate individuals to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
The Gaitor Challenge Team

GaiTOR Challenge is held at Fred Cone Park, a local track and field within the Gainesville community. The UF Department of Physical Therapy is partnered with the Alachua Department of Health to establish public relations between the students and potential participants. Each year, GaiTOR Challenge hosts three season events during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Gaitor Challenge EducationParticipants are able to choose personal health goals for the short term and long term. Some of these goals include:
Weight loss
Maintaining physical fitness
Enhancing quality of life
Developing an exercise plan
Maintaining cardiovascular health
Promoting group fitness

One season consists of a 6-week exercise program that revolves around a specific theme each week. Some of these themes include:
Foot care
Diabetes Awareness

Gaitor Challenge ParticipantsSome of our former participants shared with us what GaiTOR Challenge meant to them…

“GaiTOR Challenge helps me get on schedule, and I’ve been told by the doctor to walk because it encourages me and gives me great self-motivation.” – Virginia Hayes

“Never give up until the end! – Carris Cooper

If you are interested in participating in this wonderful opportunity, please contact Dr. Kim Dunleavy at or 352-273-6114 for further information or come join us the first week for a full initiation and screening! Dates for future GaiTOR Challenge events will be posted closer to time of event.