At the end of last week, North Grenville was still in the lead for the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge and organizers are encouraging residents to keep it up!
According to the team at ParticipACTION, North Grenville logged over 3 million minutes of physical activity and has engaged 1500 local residents to participate throughout the first few weeks of June. Vice-Chair of the Health, Wellness and Fitness Advisory Committee, Tanya Deans, says they are thrilled at how much the community has embraced the challenge. “We wanted to go for the top prize, but we certainly didn’t know how things would unfold right away,” she says. “It was a surprise for us, and then initially maybe a bit of disbelief, but we’re still in the top spot, so we’re doing something right.”
Residents, businesses, neighbourhoods and schools have all been engaging in the challenge in creative ways. Tanya says many of the different neighbourhoods throughout the municipality have been competing against each other to see who can rack up the most minutes. She works at KDH where different departments have also created a friendly rivalry. Member of the Health, Wellness and Fitness Advisory Committee, Robert Matheson, is also a Phys Ed. teacher at Kemptville Public School and got all the schools involved in group exercise classes to contribute to the challenge. “I think we’ve just really tried to reach far and wide to get the word out there as much as we can,” Tanya says.
Tanya believes this challenge has been so well received by the community because it is a much-needed distraction after a long period of COVID-19 restrictions. “This is a real source of positive focus for people where they can feel like they’re contributing in a positive way to their health, but as well to the local community,” she says.
North Grenville’s success has been picked up by national media with an interview on CBC. Tanya, who was one of the interviewees, says it is wonderful to be able to highlight what a wonderful place North Grenville is to live, work and play. “It’s just exciting to have that spotlight and the potential for it to open doors for ongoing initiatives,” she says.
The top 50 communities in the country will be invited to submit an application for the top prize of $100,000 by July 12. The municipality is already working on their application and is looking for photos and videos of community members getting active in unique ways. If you would like to submit a photo or video, email Jill Sturdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.