Spring into Action Challenge Gets Communities Moving
The 14th annual physical activity challenge, “Spring Into Action”, takes place April 10 to May 21, 2017. It helps support people making a commitment to a physically-active lifestyle. Coordinated by Horizons Community Development Associates (horizonscda.ca), the challenge, which involves teams made of friends, family, or work colleagues, has grown to include teams from across Canada and other parts of the world. It was also featured as a model health promotion initiative at the Atlantic Summer Institute in Prince Edward Island.
“We are so proud that the challenge has motivated 7,000 people over the last 14 years to become more active in their daily lives,” said Vicki Crowell, Challenge Coordinator. Approximately 500 people participate in the “Spring into Action” challenge each year. Last year’s challenge had 62 teams participating. “Many of our participants return year after year, and some have been involved since the very beginning” added Crowell.
Laura from Halifax, a returning participant, summed up the experience well, remarking that “Participating in SIA has always been a positive experience for my team. We tended to make more of an effort to be active together on our breaks. It was a great way to celebrate the nicer weather after a long winter.”
Crowell says, “The Challenge is an annual event that began in 2004 as a way for us to give back to our communities. It’s a way to maintain a physically active lifestyle, recognizing there’s a time in late winter-early spring in Nova Scotia when it can be more difficult to be active. It’s too late for winter activities but not really nice enough yet for spring activities. We thought that being accountable to others might make it easier to stick with being physically active during this seasonal transition.” Participants are asked to commit to 30 minutes per day, five days each week, for the six weeks of the challenge. People can participate as individuals or as teams, and activities can range from housecleaning to triathlon training. “We make it easy for everyone to succeed, and we hope this is our biggest year yet!” added Crowell.
Weekly prizes are available to be won by achieving the physical activity goals. Prizes for the challenge are contributed by Horizons, health promotion organizations, and local businesses. Grand prizes are drawn at the end of the challenge that supports both individual physical activity and community initiatives that help children and youth to be physically active. For more information, or to register for the challenge, visit horizonscda.ca/sia.php or search Facebook for ‘Horizons Spring Into Action!’