The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge to award city with $150,000
TORONTO, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ - The first annual ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge got Canadians across the country sitting less and moving more together with more than 265 million physical activity minutes tracked from May 31 to June 16. After weeks of friendly "active" competition, Enderby, British Columbia was crowned Canada's Most Active Community and took home the top prize of $150,000, which will go toward local physical activity initiatives.
Five regional winners – Amqui, QC; Gamètì, NT; Harvey, NB; Headingley, MB; and Marathon, ON – will also be awarded $20,000 each.
"Congratulations to Enderby, British Columbia and all the regional winners," said Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. "The Community Better Challenge was an amazing opportunity to engage all Canadians, community leaders, politicians, organizations and schools in physical activity and sport and show how everything gets better when you get active – your sleep, your relationships and even your community. Canadians want to connect with others in their communities and the Challenge proved that."
Whether with neighbours, colleagues, family or friends, research shows that physical activity and sport participation can break down walls and act as a building block to grow stronger communities. It boosts the confidence and happiness of individuals, while connecting them to others with common interests. The social supports strong communities create are key to keeping people active in the long run.
"I am thrilled to see how many communities came together across the country to participate in the Community Better Challenge, which encouraged and helped Canadians—particularly those who are inactive or face unfair barriers to being physically active—to sit less and move more where they live, learn, work, and play," said the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. "Congratulations to Enderby, BC for achieving this year's title of Canada's Most Active Community and to all of those who got involved and kept moving throughout the challenge. The Government of Canada is proud to support this initiative which is an important step toward a healthier, more active Canada!"
Every community had an equal chance to win – no matter the size. Each community's total minutes were divided by its total population. The criteria for winning also included overall community engagement as well as submissions from finalist communities.
Canada's Most Active Community
Enderby tracked 1,964,908 physical activity minutes during the Challenge by hosting events like Enderby Dash 'n' Splash, a Flash Mob and Foam Fest. Through teamwork, partnerships and events promoting physical literacy, they engaged the community to get "Active in Enderby". Enderby will use the $150,000 to improve community recreation infrastructure projects to keep their community active.
"On behalf of Enderby, I want to thank ParticipACTION for putting on this challenge and spearheading getting our nation moving," said Greg McCune, Mayor of Enderby. "It has been exciting to watch our already lively community band together to encourage, support and engage in the challenge. The stories and testimonials have been heartwarming. I look forward to the positive impact being Active in Enderby will have on our citizens of all ages in the months and years to come."
The Regional Winners
- Amqui, QC tracked 1,848,496 total physical activity minutes. Amqui engaged their whole community from schools, community organizations, and even the library! They hosted a variety of activities everyday such as a community clean-up, bike safety day, cardio-workouts, and many more. Funding is earmarked for a playground, skatepark, and cycling infrastructure.
- Gamètì, NT tracked 110,648 total physical activity minutes through sport, fitness bootcamps, and after-school activities. The fly-in community of 300 people in the North Slave Region created new programs for elders, adults and youth to remain physically active. Funds will go toward community initiatives including playgrounds, equipment and more.
- Harvey, NB tracked 1,389,219 total physical activity minutes. The community extended its Harvey Activity Challenge into the first two weeks of June to tie in with the challenge, with prizes awarded for most active Youth, Adult and Senior, as well as group prizes. Funds will help revitalize existing community recreational facilities.
- Headingley, MB tracked 1,249,366 total physical activity minutes by encouraging all ages to exercise together, particularly community groups which might not otherwise interact. The prize money is earmarked for additional bike racks and activity stations at local community centres to get everyone more active outdoors.
- Marathon, ON tracked 1,868,401 total physical activity minutes through various events that encouraged activity and socialization like Game Day, the Marathon Annual School Pow Wow, and the Children's Elementary School Road Race. Prize money has been earmarked for various initiatives, including refurbishing existing equipment and active transportation.
"Sport builds confidence, self-esteem and friendship. It also keeps people healthy, and contributes to better mental health and resilience," said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. "It's great to see that so many communities took part in this challenge to encourage Canadians to stay active and participate in sport."
The inaugural challenge might be over but sitting less and moving more doesn't have to! Since everything gets better when you get active, individuals can continue to track their physical activity minutes on the ParticipACTION app for a chance to be entered into individual weekly, monthly and quarterly draws for great prizes. The Challenge will be back spring 2020 with another chance for a community to be named Canada's Most Active Community and take home the grand prize. For more information, please visit participACTION.com/challenge.
The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge is supported by the Government of Canada, the Government of B.C., the Ontario Trillium Foundation and national media partner Corus.
ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization that helps Canadians sit less and move more. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION works with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to make physical activity a vital part of everyday life. ParticipACTION is generously supported by the Government of Canada. For more information, please visit participACTION.com.
For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact: Jade Hunter, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, W: 416-413-4635, [email protected]