The COVID-19 Fitness Challenge is officially underway in Vanderhoof.
Beginning April 21, Vanderhoof residents are invited by the Vanderhoof Community Foundation to get outdoors and take part in the challenge, which stretches until May 21.
And with 175 people already registered spanning across 34 teams, $6,300 has been raised so far. Kathie LaForge, president of the Vanderhoof Community Foundation said it seems people are excited to get outdoors to participate.
“People are itching to get outdoors, but it’s a bit too early to garden and things like that, so now through May seems like a good time [to host the event],” she said.
Now in its second year, LaForge said the idea came together last year when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We thought if we could gather a few dollars even, and get a few people participating, we would be happy,” she said. “We were overjoyed with the success we had so decided to give it a go again.”
Participants, whether individually or as part of a team, are asked to record their distance travelled outdoors — be it through walking, biking, riding, or any other means — and report weekly to the VCF.
“There’s no pressure. It’s non competitive,” LaForge said. “We want it to be really inclusive, and just want everybody out trying to get a little exercise, maybe setting some personal goals to do a bit more each day or each week.”
Weekly tallies for combined distance travelled will then be posted weekly on the VCF Facebook page.
Adding to the fun and incentive to take part, LaForge said several local businesses have generously donated prizes to be able to award five gift baskets over the course of the fitness challenge.
Erika Wadelius, a member of the Connexus Team – Sole Mates, was already awarded as the winner of the early bird gift draw basket.
“Each Monday or Tuesday we’ll do another draw for one of the baskets, and the business community has really stepped up,” she said.
“There are some interesting things in the baskets, even some odd things, but all things people will appreciate, and a wide array of prizes.”
The VCF, meanwhile, is a non-profit organization which works to support the district of Vanderhoof through partnerships with donors to contribute to local projects and initiatives.
LaForge said the goal this year is to grow the organization’s endowment fund.
“Whatever is donated will be invested, and the return provides us with grant funds we can give back to the community,” she said, noting the VCF was founded in December of 2015.
Currently, the VCF is accepting grant applications for 2021 up until April 30, with roughly $5,000 to donate to a group, or divided among several organizations, depending on applications.
Anyone interested in taking part in the COVID Fitness Challenge can sign up from now until the event’s end date, May 21.
For more, or for registration forms, visit the VCF Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vhfcf.