CCUPEKA as an organization arose from a desire by regional (Ontario, Québec, the Maritimes and the West) organizations to form a national organization to share common issues, concerns and solutions to problems. An initial Constitution for the group, dated March 10, 1971 identified the group as the Canadian Association of Deans and Directors of Faculties, Schools and Departments of Physical Education. Sometime later the acronym CCUPEA (Canadian Council of University Physical Education Association) was adopted. Finally, in 1995 at the annual May meeting in Québec City, the present name CCUPEKA was adopted by the organization.
Early meetings often revolved around the Vanier Cup football championship festivities in Toronto. The initial meetings have been characterized as “very much social rather than business oriented”. However, that approach changed very quickly perhaps due to the challenges facing our field. These early meetings focused on institutional reports and information sharing. By the early 1980’s the focus of the meetings was very much business. An early and ongoing issue was the initiative from the organization to lobby the national granting agencies (NSERC, SSHRC) to view our faculty members as legitimate researchers rather than simply as “ball bouncers” in the gym. There was so much concern around this issue that representatives from the granting agencies were invited to the annual meeting. While there was a will to be more politically active in lobbying for physical activity, etc., the informality of the organization and the fact everyone had a full-time job at their own institution, did not lend itself well to a sustained lobbying effort. From time to time a lobbying initiative did arrive, such as the “President’s Forum on University Sport”. The organization has taken the initiative to provide the funds to make these events happen.
Over the past thirty years the organization continued to evolve and during the early 1990’s the change to the name of “Kinesiology” was a focus as was the move to accreditation of our physical education and kinesiology programs. Most recently our efforts at lobbying on behalf of physical activity and health continues and the name of the organization has been an ongoing topic for discussion. Presently CCUPEKA represents 35 institutions from coast to coast across Canada.