by Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Over 2,000 residents, and 20 organizations, tracked over 9.9 million minutes for North Grenville in ParticipACTION’s Community Better Challenge over the month of June. On July 26, ParticipACTION officially announced that North Grenville is Canada’s Most Active Community, and will receive $100,000. The annual Canada-wide challenge encourages Canadians to get moving and connect with others. ParticipACTION announced that there were approximately 376,000 participants across the country this year, with nearly 400 million physical activity minutes logged in the app.
North Grenville maintained its position at #1 throughout the month. At the end of June, the top 50 communities across Canada were invited to submit an application to ParticipACTION to win the cash prize.
From the sheer numbers we logged as a municipality, the creative ways we logged minutes, like the 12-hour marathon tennis match, to the NG Times’ own photo wall poster, it is safe to say that North Grenville was clearly Canada’s Most Active Community.
In announcing the win, Mayor Peckford stated that “This initiative was built from the ground up with the leadership of our Health, Wellness and Fitness Committee. It showcased our incredible spirit and brought our community together. We were each other’s greatest champions, as we worked collectively towards a common goal. We are so proud of our community and everyone’s efforts.”
This year, the challenge provided an opportunity to engage as a community and to connect safely, in spite of Covid-19. Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman stated that, “we saw it as a way to collectively have some socially-distanced fun.”
It is the intention of Mayor Peckford and Council that the significant prize money be allocated to establishing more outdoor recreational facilities, and the community will be given the opportunity to provide input on how the money should be invested. Some options, Mayor Peckford stated, “include, but are not limited to, an outdoor basketball court, a BMX pump track, and/or outdoor exercise equipment for all ages, as well as badly needed improvements to parks in North Grenville’s rural hamlets.”
Given that over 2,000 North Grenville residents were involved in this achievement, it is not surprising that locals are brimming with pride. The post on social media announcing North Grenville’s success is full of comments exclaiming “We really do live in the best community!” And “NG Rocks!”