The contest encouraging British Columbians to get out there and get walking is well underway. People are slipping on their runners and hiking boots and heading for the hills, valleys and wherever else they desire to explore this great province. At the same time, they are getting some exercise and having fun.
The Healthy Families B.C. Walking Challenge contest has been set up in a similar fashion to the Gamestown 2010 contest, which Princeton was fortunate enough to win last year. Residents of communities all over B.C. are being asked to submit photos, videos and stories about their excursions on foot over local trails. The purpose of the contest is to try and get people walking and to help them get started on a healthier lifestyle.
Cameras in hand, they walk and climb. Rediscovering a trail, finding a new one, spending time with family and just enjoying nature are all part of the stories. The contest is bringing families together and is helping families make new memories.
The thing about contests is that they almost always come with some cool prizes. In the case of this latest contest orchestrated by the B.C. Ministry of Health and their Healthy Families initiative, the prizes are for both individuals and communities. Random weekly individual draw prizes include t-shirts, pedometers, jump ropes, reusable lunch bags, an outside game kit, one family pass to a local recreation centre and one adult and one youth bicycle with helmets. There are over 200 prizes to be won during the six week challenge which was launched on August 8, 2011. Each week, over 30 prizes are being won in the random draws.
Of the prizes, there are six grand prizes. These six grand prizes are fun-filled vacation packages for a family of four. Each one is unique. The first vacation package is to the Cariboo Chilcotin area and the famous Hills Health Ranch near 100 Mile House for a three day horse/spa holiday. The second package is for three days and nights at Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, B.C. for an incredible ski weekend. Wilderness Lodge at Tumbler Ridge has offered up a three night adventure that includes a river rafting trip. The Summerland Waterfront Resort has three days of water fun planned for one lucky family. Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino is not to be outdone. Their winning prize package includes a surf lesson and a marine adventure. Last, but definitely not least, is a trip to Whistler to stay at the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Resort. This package includes an aerial adventure and lots of outdoor exploring. These six incredible vacation packages come with $500 cool hard cash to put towards travel costs. How to win? All anyone has to do is make an entry for their community and wait to find out if the results of the random draws. are in their favour.
There are also weekly random draws for communities. Communities can win soccer balls and pedometers and the five communities with the most postings (one for each population size category) by the end of the six week challenge will win $10,000 to upgrade a local walking trail. Then, one of these five top communities will be the lucky recipient of a huge $50,000 randomly drawn prize.
“Lots of maps have been uploaded to the site,” stated Trish Fougner who is the Director of Health Promotion Supports and Engagement for the B.C. Ministry of Health. “Two hundred and thirty-seven maps, over 700 stories and 380 photos from 134 participating communities are live now. It’s exciting.”
The walking challenge can be fun and adventurous and we all know Princeton likes a good challenge. It is time to warm up those keyboards and start making entries. Don’t forget the walking part either or a camera. Kids, dogs, spouses, friends and neighbours can become part of an adventure. Right now, we are in second place behind Tumbler Ridge. Let’s get walking Princeton. To submit a story go to www.healthyfamiliesbcwalkingchallenge.ca