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Collingwood still tops at close of most active community contest

Holding strong at third in Ontario and 19th in Canada, there's one more day to log your activity and push Collingwood into the finals for the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge
2018-06-16 Baseball JO-001
File photo by Jessica Owen/CollingwoodToday

Collingwood is currently ranked third in Ontario in a competition to find Canada's most active community with just one day left for participants to log their active minutes on behalf of their community. 

Nationwide, Collingwood is on the top-20 list at number 19 for the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. 

The national physical activity initiative comes with a $100,000 prize, sent to the municipality that is named the most active community Canada.

The contest runs during the month of June, and requires people to add their activity to the ParticipACTION app or website and add it to their community tally. The local YMCA has been encouraging residents to participate and used their own ParticipACTION funding to offer free day passes on Saturdays for the month of June. 

Melanie Pockaj, manager of major and planned gifts for the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, is a Collingwood resident, and was excited to see her town pull ahead in the competition. She reached out to local schools and gyms to encourage them to log their activity and give the town its best shot at winning. \

"We are so proud to be part of it," said Pockaj in an email.

She said the challenge has been "a ton of fun" and also impactful in the way it has helped people to get and stay active. 

"So many other local gyms, teams, and organizations are involved as well," she said. "I saw Raglan Village did a bocce ball tournament, the Collingwood Youth Centre logged (pun intended) their tree planting initiative, local schools hosted track and field meets and play days and there have been a ton of active community events." 

Anyone can participate by using the ParticiPACTION app as an activity tracker, or manually entering your activity into the  Community Better Challenge. All physical activity must be logged by June 30 before midnight to count for the contest. There is no fee to log activity. Both individuals and organizations can log activity on the website. 

The top 50 finalist communities from across Canada will be invited to submit an application explaining why they deserve to be Canada's Most Active Community. Finalists are chosen by three factors: total minutes tracked, number of individuals and family members participating, and number of organizations participating. The winner is decided based on a combined score of minutes, participation, and the finalist submission. 

"Even if we don't win the title, we know we are among the most active communities in Canada and that makes me pretty proud to live here," said Pockaj. 

The prize money is given to the winning municipality to be used for physical activity opportunities in the community, including new playgrounds or trails, new or existing programs serving inactive or underserviced groups, and buying equipment and supplies for physical activity programs. 

There are also secondary prizes between $7,500 and $15,000 for one community in each of the remaining 12 provinces and territories after the winner is chosen. 

For more, visit the ParticipACTION website here.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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