Residents of Enderby sweated it out and exhausted the competition.
In the first ParticipAction Community Better Challenge, cities across Canada competed for $150,000 to support local physical activity initiatives. Cities across Canada tracked more than 265 million minutes of physical activity to compete for the grand prize. But the small city of 2,964 people came together to make sure they were victorious.
“It has been a whirlwind of emotions and excitement. It has been one of the most inspiring couple of weeks that I have had being in recreation,” said Sheryl Hay, City of Enderby recreation co-ordinator.
The first ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge asked cities to break down walls and reconnect with each other by getting active.
The award money is to support local physical activity initiatives and Enderby already knows what it will do with the money.
“We are willing to show the country this is what we do and this is how you get your people active. If you sit back and hope that they do it, they won’t you need to put together programs and facilities that make them want to get out there,” said Greg McCune, Enderby’s mayor.
McCune said the money makes a big difference to the community because a one per cent tax hike would only generate $14,000. So without the money from ParticipACTION, the city would not be able to complete the upgrades they are hoping for.
“We are excited because we have the active community to the point where we are almost outgrowing some of our facilities, so our ball diamonds, we are sending local teams away because we don’t have space to house all the interest to be active. We are looking at updating our more than 60-year-old pool and we are also working with the high school because it’s very important to have that being active initiative in our youth,” said Hay.
Five other Canadian cities were awarded $20,000 each for their efforts: Harvey, N.B., Amqui, Que., Marathon, Ont., Headingley, Man., and Gameti, N.W.T.
The challenge will return in 2020 and another community will have the chance to win the grand prize.