ParticipACTION. (Photo courtesy of Mike Neely)ParticipACTION. (Photo courtesy of Mike Neely)

Sarnia named finalist in Community Better Challenge

City staff are working to explain why Sarnia is deserving of the title "Canada’s Most Active Community" as part of a nationwide challenge.

Sarnia was named one of 50 finalists in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. Individuals and groups were encouraged to log their physical activity throughout the month of June and finalists were announced late Tuesday afternoon.

Community Services Coordinator Mike Neely said it's exciting to be named a finalist, especially considering this was the first time Sarnia has participated in the initiative.

"We were a little unsure of how we were going to make out and to finish fifth in the province and 22nd overall in the nation, we're pretty ecstatic!"

Other finalists within Ontario include Collingwood, Ottawa, Toronto, and North Greenville.

ParticipACTION outdoor activity. (Photo courtesy of Mike Neely)

The City of Sarnia now has until July 12 to submit a package of why the community is deserving of the title.

Regardless of whether or not Sarnia wins the challenge, Neely said the city will likely take part in the initiative again next year.

"We've had some great stories come forward to us. An individual here at the Strangway Centre who takes part in an exercise activity came in and mentioned how it got her husband up and moving, doing more walks with her … really that's what it's all about," Neely said.

The national prize for the challenge is $100,000. However, there is another prize opportunity.

A total of 12 prizes (one per province or territory) will be up for grabs. If an Ontario community doesn't win the national prize, one of the five municipalities could win the category prize of $7,500.

Winners will be announced the week of July 25.

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