Amherst has accepted the challenge.
From May 31 to June 16, the town will be battling communities from across the country in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge as it seeks to be declared Canada’s most active community.
“We’ve been saying for awhile that Amherst is one of the most active, healthy communities in Nova Scotia and that’s one of the reasons we love to live, work and play here,” Recreation Direct Bill Schurman said. “This is an opportunity to show that not only are we one of the most active, healthy communities in this province, but we are the most active community in the country.”
The winner of the challenge, which is supported by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and national media partner Corus, will be awarded $150,000 for the development or improvement of local physical activity initiatives. Five regional winners will also be announced. Each of these will receive $20,000 to support local physical activities.
“We are hoping our residents, schools, organizations and businesses will all participate in this challenge,” Schurman said. “We’ve already heard from the schools that they will participate.”
“I’m encouraging everyone in this community to accept this challenge,” Mayor David Kogon said. “Amherstonians know the health benefits of leading a physically active life. Amherst is an active community, so let’s show Canada just how active we truly are.”
Participating is easy. Organizations, workplaces and schools can register a Community Better Challenge event or program at www.ParticipACTION.com/challenge. Once registered, they can return to the website to track all the minutes of physical activity the event or program generated.
Individuals can download the ParticipACTION app, available at the Apple Store and Google Play, onto to their smartphones. It will track “move minutes,” which will automatically count towards their community’s total activity minutes. Running, walking, even housecleaning, are all activities that can create move minutes for the challenge.
The town has scheduled three community activities that will go towards creating move minutes. The first is a community trail walk. Led by the Amherst and Area Trail Society it will be held on June 1, beginning at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to meet in Victoria Square.
The second event is the Family Sunset Run, which is happening on June 6. Runners and/or walkers are asked to register at the Amherst Stadium at 6:15 p.m. for the three-kilometre race, which starts at 7 p.m.
The third is the Active Community Night, which is happening at Dickey Park on June 7, beginning at 6 p.m. Activities available during this event include a walking challenge, soccer, basketball, disc golf, road hockey, Zumba, yoga and more.