For the entire month of June, many local residents were talking about the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. More importantly, locals were getting active and logging hours, working toward the hope of being named Canada’s Most Active Community two years in a row. We still don’t know the winner of the challenge for certain, but we do know that it was a very tight race.

By the time you’re reading this, the finalists for the Challenge will have been announced, on July 5. As of the time of writing, there is no official list, though it is expected that North Grenville and Edmonton will have been named as finalists, as our community and the Edmonton community were routinely neck-and-neck in terms of logged hours throughout the month. In the week leading up to the end of the Challenge, North Grenville and Edmonton repeatedly swapped for first and second place. On June 30, the last day of the contest, North Grenville residents woke up full of pride, holding the lead for a significant portion of the day. Toward the end of the day, however, it appears that Edmonton took the lead. It is impossible to say who definitively ended in first place in terms of logged hours, because the leader board on the ParticipACTION website was not updated in real time. The good news for local readers is that the logged hours are not the only determinant of the contest’s winner.

It turns out there are two factors that are used when determining the winner of the “Canada’s Most Active Community” title and prize. One is residents’ logged hours, and the other is a Finalist Submission provided by the Municipality. In the Finalist Submission, there are five questions to be answered. It is akin to a reflective essay that one might be expected to provide when applying for acceptance to a college or university. It is a chance for the community to emphasize why they deserve the title and $100,000 prize. Even if North Grenville does not receive the national prize again this year, there are also provincial prizes to be won.

The Municipality, including Mayor Nancy Peckford and members of Council, was very active in promoting the Community Better Challenge throughout North Grenville this year. The Mayor and Council did not just talk the talk, they also walked the walk – literally – as they could be seen around town attending events, getting active, and logging hours. The Times reached out to Mayor Peckford for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.

With 50 finalists having been selected on July 5, it will still be several weeks before the winner of the Challenge is announced. Finalist Submissions are due on July 11, with a submission review period ending on July 22. It is expected that the winners of the national and provincial titles will be announced on July 26 or 27. While there is no telling with any certainty who will win this year’s Challenge, it is without a doubt that North Grenville once again put up one heck of a fight.


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