From the Department of Physical Education, the need to institute programs to maximize the growth and development of physical education and sports in the country was conceptualized under the leadership of Dr. Aparicio H. Mequi, who was then the director of the Department. Thus, this led to the establishment of the UP Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (SPEAR) in 1976. In 1989, with the increase in the student population and the general public's current interest in sports and other physical activities, the name of the institute was eventually changed under the incumbency of the late Dr. Cynthia V. Abad Santos. Upon the recommendation of the faculty and the approval from the University Council, UP SPEAR became the UP College of Human Kinetics to better relate its field to that of movement science.
Thus, the name "College of Human Kinetics" reflects the academic discipline on which the practice of sports, dance, physical education, and recreation, is based. Its mission is to initiate, develop, and evaluate programs in the human movement sciences, human performance, and recreation. Its logo on the first impression depicts a human stick figure in motion. On closer inspection, one will notice that the stick symbol is actually the college initials: "C" for the head; "H" for the body; and "K" for the legs.
At present, the college is home to sports and physical education majors, graduate students, varsity teams, and various student organizations. From 1938 to the present, the university's varsity teams, which are managed by the CHK, compete annually in the UAAP league. Varsity coaches and CHK faculty have often been tapped as consultants, trainers, and/or officers of National Sports Associations (NSAs).
Another institution that the College of Human Kinetics had established links in the Department of Health (DOH). It has consistently collaborated with the DOH in the planning and implementation of the "Hataw Bayan" and other exercise programs to promote wellness among the Filipino population. With this linkage, faculty serve as consultants, program planners, and trainers.
In 1997, the Victoria University of Technology (VUT) from Melbourne, Australia initiated a Memorandum of Agreement with the CHK for a student and faculty exchange program. As per the MOA, the first batch of VUT students arrived on June 8, 1998, for a twelve-week program. These ten students enrolled in several HK courses such as Outdoor Recreation, Philippine Games, and Teaching Internship.
Rehabilitation of sports injuries has always been a concern of the CHK. Because of this, it saw fit to initiate a sports therapy program, which it offers to the school of Allied Medical Professions (SAMP). The UP SAMP sends its physical therapy interns to the CHK to run the sports therapy clinic under the supervision of an assigned instructor. Injured athletes are rehabilitated in the CHK Sports Therapy Clinic.