From a 12-hour marathon tennis match to a cartwheel competition led by the mayor, people in North Grenville logged more than nine million minutes of physical activity in June.
It won the municipality south of Ottawa the crown as Canada’s most active community in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. The top prize is $100,000 for physical activity and sport initiatives for its about 16,000 residents.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, and the Community Better Challenge was a wonderful way to inspire and encourage families, seniors, youth and everyone in between to become more active,” North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford said.
“Thanks to the leadership of the advisory committee on health, wellness and fitness, our community rallied, we went for gold and we are immensely proud of everyone’s efforts.”
The annual challenge returned for 2021 — as ParticipACTION marked its 50th anniversary — aiming to inspire Canadians to get active for their physical and mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in “a significant and sustained decline in our physical activity levels,” the national non-profit said.
When communities are physically active together, it reduces residents’ social isolation and boosts their confidence and happiness through connection, president and CEO Elio Antunes said.
“These are essential benefits for all of us as we collectively recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
During the June challenge, almost 400 million minutes of physical activity were tracked by more than 376,000 participants and more than $600,000 in grants were awarded to over 1000 organizations across Canada.