The I-CAN program is conducted over an eight-week period during the selected school term.

I-CAN encourages school attendance and addresses childhood obesity and inactivity by installing running tracks and fitness equipment in primary schools or community parks in remote Indigenous communities.

  • Galiwin’ku – Northern Territory
  • Timber Creek – Northern Territory
  • Bulla – Northern Territory
  • Canteen Creek – Northern Territory
  • Ramingining – Northern Territory
  • Mornington Island – Queensland
  • Maningrida – Northern Territory
  • Santa Teresa – Northern Territory

At the start and completion of the program, children participate in physical fitness and physical literacy screenings. The results are compared against our I-CAN database which includes screenings of over 36,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous primary school aged children from 464 schools across Australia. The physical fitness and literacy screenings focus on:

  • Strength endurance (sit-ups)
  • Muscular strength (hand grip strength)
  • Flexibility
  • Body composition (weight, height, BMI)
  • Power and coordination
  • Cardio-vascular fitness

Once schools have participated in the eight-week program we will conduct the I-CAN Tour (6-12 months after initial involvement) which involves the children completing the physical fitness and literacy screening and participating in a colour fun run. Following on from the
I-CAN Tour, schools have the option of participating in the Colour Fun Run Series which runs at the end of each term for students who have a school attendance of above 60%.


The first I-CAN fitness and running track was installed in the remote Northern Territory community of Amoonguna, in 2013.

The fitness and running tracks are 300-400m in distance and include fun activity stations located around the track to help children improve their physical fitness which is then tested within I-CAN’s physical fitness and physical literacy screenings.

Some of the fun activity stations include:

  • Wall Climber
  • Rock wall
  • Chin-up bars
  • Running roller
  • Balance beams
  • Steppers
  • Parallel bars

The tracks are installed on school grounds or within community to offer community-ownership of the tracks.

A sign is installed at each track illustrating the layout and activity at each station. On the reverse side of the sign is a whiteboard so students can record their time.

Since 2013, the programs have expanded to include other communities such as Timber Creek, Bulla, Galiwin’ku, Canteen Creek, Ramingining, Mornington Island, Maningrida and Santa Teresa.

IMF is committed to establishing I-CAN tracks in Indigenous communities around the country to encourage primary school aged children to engage in physical activity and reap the benefits of living an active, healthy lifestyle.


The I-CAN Fitness Index considers a combination of the three areas identified as the most important to the development of children’s health and fitness:

• Body Composition
• Cardio-fitness
• Power and coordination

When calculating the I-CAN Fitness Index, the cardio-fitness and average body composition results are weighted according to power and coordination to ensure that each of the three areas are of equal importance in the final calculations.

A higher Fitness Index is an indication of good results across the three health and fitness components, while a lower score is indicative of a poor result for overall health and fitness.

The below graphs illustrate the results across each fitness area, of all students, as a comparison between the first and second measures. Click here for a comprehensive analysis of results across all fitness areas (eg flexibility, strength, BMI etc), for all students in participating schools.


IMP Graduates apply their Certificate III in Fitness and run coaching qualifications/accreditation and high profile within their local community to assist with track and equipment installation, and in some instances, will conduct the eight-week program.

These inspirational Graduates develop positive and significant relationship with the students and their regular involvement with I-CAN attracts and encourages the children to attend school.

Graduate involvement includes:
• Evelyna Dhamarrandji (2013), Rachel Baker (2014) and Jacinta Gurruwirwi (2015) – Shepherdson College
• Dwayne Jones (2015) – Timber Creek and Bulla Schools
• Wade Mongta (2016), Adrian Dodson-Shaw (2014) and Elsie Seriat (2014) – Canteen Creek School
• Justin Gaykamangu and Jacinta Gurruwirwi (2015) – Ramingining School
• Harriet David (2015), TJ Cora (2017) and Tahli Tabuai (2013) – Mornington Island State School
• Elsie Seriat (2014), Wade Mongta (2016), Emma Cameron (2012) and Allirra Ludwig (2014) – Maningrida School
• Wade Mongta (2016), Adrian Dodson-Shaw (2014), Michaela Skuthorpe (2018) – Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School