Metuchen High School’s innovative ‘Proving Ground’ challenge will develop students’ teamwork and leadership skills while benefiting The Marisa Tufaro Foundation


Student-athletes returning to Metuchen High School next month for fall sports practice will find their sprawling campus transformed into a massive obstacle course with more than 30 mentally and physically challenging stations designed to promote teamwork and leadership.

The Proving Ground Team Building Challenge, modeled after increasingly popular mud run competitions, includes obstacles with intriguing names such as the “Stuntman Climb, Tarzan Swing, Pirate Walk, Whale Watch, Kangaroo Run and Detonator Hill.”

Aerial view of the obstacle course

The obstacle course will feature spectator areas and a mud run for children. Games, raffle prizes, food and beverage will contribute to a carnival-like atmosphere at the Aug. 19 event.

Money raised through the sale of promotional items (including T-shirts and wristbands) and food – Mom’s Food and Beverage is donating 20 percent of its earnings – will benefit The Marisa Tufaro Foundation.

The foundation, established in memory of Marisa Tufaro, the daughter of Home News Tribune sports writer Greg Tufaro and Edison Township Public Schools educator Cyndi Tufaro, assists children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area.

A heart transplant, which was supposed to extend Marisa’s life, tragically cut it short after a postoperative complication developed into a rare form of Stage IV cancer, to which she succumbed in January following a valiant battle. She was 13 years old. Marisa’s paternal grandparents, Joseph and Marie, graduated from Metuchen High School. In the weeks before Marisa received her heart transplant, she spent time with Metuchen principal Bruce Peragallo, who gave her a tour of the high school.

Marisa’s paternal grandparents, Joseph and Marie, who graduated from Metuchen High School, in the yearbook photos.

The Tufaros will address the Metuchen student-athletes at the pasta party on the eve of the Proving Ground event, thanking the school-community for its involvement and providing what they hope will be an inspirational message.

More than 200 student-athletes — including those from winter and spring sports — are expected to participate in a mud run that is believed to be the first of its kind among Greater Middlesex Conference athletics programs and is unique among Central Jersey high schools.

A leadership training speaker series, featuring community leaders, will be held throughout the 2017-18 academic year to augment the challenge.

You can read an entire story about the “Proving Ground” challenge here.





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