The City of Sarnia is hoping to be named "Canada's Most Active Community" but participation from residents is needed in order to make that happen.
The city will compete against other communities throughout the month of June in ParticipACTION. The Community Better Challenge is a nationwide competition with prizes awarded to active communities.
"If we were so lucky to be named 'Canada's Most Active Community' we would win $100,000 and it would go towards some kind of physical activity initiative," said Community Services Coordinator Rachel Veilleux. "That initiative has yet to be determined and something that our internal team is looking at and would evaluate at that time."
Veilleux said the city found out about the challenge at the beginning of the year and became excited about an initiative that would encourage residents to become active.
"I think one thing we've noticed in our community is a lot of community members are getting outdoors and exploring different areas of the city that maybe they weren't aware of before. The thing about this challenge is it's all about being active in really any capacity, whether you're taking out the garbage or going for a nice stroll in any park," she said. "So as the City of Sarnia slowly comes out of this pandemic, we thought this would be a really great opportunity to jump on board and try to involve our community in getting active."
Veilleux said the challenge also coincides with Recreation and Parks Month in June.
Residents can log their physical activity through the ParticipACTION mobile app from June 1 until June 30.
"As of June 1, any physical activity minutes you track directly on the app will go towards your community's overall score. If you're part of a group or a club or a sports organization, your coach or your head of the organization can actually register on the website."
Residents without a smartphone can still participate by logging physical activity through the ParticipACTION website but a few more steps are involved. Those who require assistance can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Veilleux said residents can also track how other municipalities are doing in the challenge through the website.
To celebrate the launch of the challenge, the City of Sarnia is offering free programming on June 1 at the Strangway Community Centre, located at 260 East St. North.