Challenge Team is a group of young adult volunteers who educate teenagers about healthy sexuality. Team members are conscious that young people are becoming sexually active at early ages and are on a dangerous path as they explore a world that appears to be full of pleasure and devoid of consequences. The fact that many may be in for a painful surprise has galvanised Challenge Team into action.
In the spring of 2004 the first national tour took place. Secondary school pupils up and down the country were given the opportunity to consider the healthy alternative to safe sex – saving sex. Because they are young people themselves, team members can understand the issues their peers are dealing with.
Challenge Team presents its message from a common sense and health perspective, without any religious references. A presentation lasts between 55 – 75 minutes depending on school timetables.
Challenge Teams from Canada made short tours and visited schools in the UK in the three years 2000 to 2002. They received a tremendous reception from both staff and pupils.
Since 2004, Challenge Team UK have trained 78 British presenters and have presented to over 140,000 teenagers.
A Challenge Team consists of young adults between the ages of 18 and 28. Each team consists of two guys and two girls.
Challenge Team has a positive message. The Team members are not anti-sex, nor are they trying to scare kids away from sex. They believe sexuality is so special that it should be treated with the respect it deserves. The presentation deals with the reality of negative consequences; however, its main focus is on the positive aspects of saving sex.
Challenge Team members are sincere. They are not public performers or professional actors, but share one important thing in common – a strong belief in the value of a lifestyle of saving sex. The positive response that the Teams receive from schools is mostly due to the team members’ sincerity. This is what captures the attention of audiences. The Team members are youth who have the courage to stand up and speak about a lifestyle that is important to them.
Challenge Team members are all volunteers. As proof of their conviction, most temporarily give up jobs or study to join a Team tour, and all speak as volunteers, not receiving financial compensation for their time. Knowing that the presentations are touching the lives of teens is reward enough.
The Challenge Team presentation is designed to educate, inspire and equip young people to practise a lifestyle that is challenging but possible and worthwhile. The presentation consists of dramatisations, personal stories, interaction and short talks, interspersed with lots of humour. The presentation is simple. As one teacher put it: My hat goes off to the organisers. No cumbersome props, no fancy costumes, no hi-tech sound systems or special effects, but quality entertainment and a crucial message for our young people.