The Town of Sutton has been crowned the most active community in Quebec after taking first place in ParticipACTION's Community Better Challenge. Throughout the month of June, the Community Better Challenge invited communities across Canada to get active and to have residents record their minutes in an application downloaded to their phones.
With over 270 residents and 16 organizations participating in the challenge, 3.8 million minutes of physical activity was recorded. As the winner, the town will receive a $15, 000 cash prize to invest back into the community.
“We did really good all throughout the month. We started really strong and kept on climbing because everybody got so involved and we had good momentum,” said Charlotte Jacques, officer of recreation and community life for the town.
Jacques mentioned that some residents and organizations took part in the challenge in the past, but this year the municipality wanted to be organized as much as possible to encourage everyone to get involved.
“The idea is that any activity that gets you moving, you put your minutes in the app or on the website (ParticipACTION’s website) and it goes towards your community with your postal code,” she said. “So, we were really encouraging everyone to get moving. It could be taking your bike or walking to go grocery shopping, even cleaning counts, going for a walk with your dog, any kind of activity like that.”
With local organizations, institutions, and groups getting involved, Jacques noted that the community worked together for this feat.
“We organized an activity for the entire month of June called Dance Sutton. We worked with a local artist, her name is Maude Lecours, and she choreographed a short dance and put out a tutorial,” explained Jacques. “We invited everyone to practice at home, put their minutes in the app towards our community, and then we all got together at an intersection at Main Street to perform on June 28. It was a really nice way to close out this month. We were about 60 people.”
Jacques said that physical activity is “a part of Sutton’s DNA” and that the town wanted to “jump on the occasion” to prove the no challenge was too big of a challenge, even for a small community. Up against big cities like Quebec and Montreal, the town still managed to come out on top.
“We are so proud and it really shows how dynamic and active the community is and how involved the organizations and residents are. It’s really a victory for everyone,” she emphasized.
With its $15,000 prize, the town plans to build a new basketball court, a first for the village.
“We have a few activities, like the skatepark that the younger population uses, but we want to add more so that everyone has an activity they can do in Sutton,” said Jacques. “This is something we get asked about a lot so we are really happy that we can put money towards such a beautiful project.”
Listen to the full interview below: