Perko: Changing Young Athletes’ Lives Through 500 Fist Bumps

Posted on October 17, 2023

Mike Perko

500 Fist Bumps is the brainchild of Dr. Mike Perko, a professor of public health education at UNCG. He knows the impact a child’s coach can have on their life. Perko first started coaching in 1978 and still remembers his own childhood ice hockey coach, who was there for him in an anxiety-riddled moment.

He said the idea for the 500 Fist Bumps initiative was inspired by the coach at his then-10-year-old son’s lacrosse camp. 

“The coach had pulled everybody together and basically said, ‘We’re going to try to get fist bumps today to recognize everybody who’s trying hard or who’s already doing really good things,'” Perko said. “Then he said, ‘How many fist bumps do you think we can get in an hour?’”