North Grenville residents huffed, puffed, sweated, played, jogged and biked to win title of Canada’s most active community in 2021.
“We are absolutely over the moon,” Mayor Nancy Peckford said on Monday after hearing that her municipality had won the honour from ParticipACTION in its 2021 Better Community Challenge.
North Grenville recorded more than 9.9 million minutes of exercise during June to win the national challenge.
As winner, North Grenville gets $100,000 toward local physical activity and sports initiatives.
“It truly was a whole community effort and we’re just so proud of this community for seizing this opportunity and really going for gold,” Peckford said.
ParticipACTION said more than 2,000 residents participated in the challenge, including 20 organizations, six elementary schools, daycares, fitness centres and such groups as Seniors’ Community Services and Community Living North Grenville.
The municipality plans to use the prize money to improve parks in Kemptville and in rural hamlets. Peckford said North Grenville doesn’t have the same recreation infrastructure as other communities.
“We see this money as making a big difference to continuing to promote physical activity in all of its forms,” she said.
North Grenville wanted residents to be aware that you didn’t have to be a fitness guru – all you had to do was be active in a way that makes sense to you.
The North Grenville Health, Fitness and Wellness Advisory Committee initiated the challenge as the municipality encouraged residents to participate.
“It comes as no surprise to me that a community within Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes was able to remain so active even during these times,” MPP Steve Clark said in congratulating North Grenville.
“Physical activity has always been very important to people here, and we are fortunate to have such a beautiful location with plenty of places to get out and exercise,” Clark said.
Across Ontario, more than 50,000 participants and 250 organizations recorded close to 90 million minutes of physical activity throughout the challenge, making it one of Canada’s most active provinces.
The other provinces and territories will also receive prizes of various amounts to support physical activity and sports initiatives.
Elio Antunes, president and CEO of ParticipACTION said North Grenville’s dedication and commitment to supporting physical activity is an “inspiration to Canadians across the country.”
North Grenville’s fitness and wellness committee is now discussing how North Grenville can participate in future ParticipACTION challenges to continue the momentum.
“North Grenville stepped up each and every day of the challenge, it’s a fantastic success story for us and we’ll absolutely build on what we’ve accomplished,” said Peckford.
Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times