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The Town of Hay River is participating in the Community Better Challenge this year.

That is a national physical activity initiative by ParticipACTION to encourage people to get active in search of Canada’s Most Active Community.

All minutes of activity can be tracked on an app and website from June 1 to 30 and counted toward a community’s total score.

After June 30, 50 finalist communities – determined on a per capita basis – will be invited to submit an application explaining why they deserve to be Canada’s Most Active Community.

One community will earn the top prize of $100,000 and the title of being Canada’s most active.

In addition to the national winner, there will also be prizes for the most active community in each province and territory.

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Nicole Mitchell, the town’s recreation programming supervisor, is optimistic about Hay River’s chances in the competition.

“I think we could win the top prize,” she said. “We have a lot of very active, engaging and wonderful people in this community.”

Plus, Mitchell noted that Hay River is in a beautiful part of the country where there are many opportunities to be active.

“Everyone here just gets outside as much as they can and I believe we’re outside a lot more than other communities are, especially with Covid locking down a lot of the other parts of Canada,” she said. “I think Hay River definitely has an edge.”

The Town of Hay River will be offering the Multi-Sport Drop-In for free every Friday in June to encourage activity for the Community Better Challenge.

The town received $1,000 in funding from ParticipACTION to offer the free Fridays.

Mitchell encourages people in Hay River to get involved in the Community Better Challenge.

“It is a great way to help get motivated to be more active this month and it doesn’t hurt to just track your activity if you already have a smart watch or something that tracks automatically,” she said.

Mitchell said it is a really easy way to support the community.

As of June 2, residents of Hay River had registered 700 minutes of activity, placing the town first in the NWT.

“So we’ve already got a good chunk in there,” said Mitchell.

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