“On the Road to Tokyo”

Community Featured Sports

LISMORE — Residents in and around Lismore have embarked on their 10th anniversary fitness challenge.

Its theme this year is On the Road to Tokyo due to the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic Games there and the equivalent distance the group plans to chart in various ways. The challenge is designed to encourage people to be more active generally, especially during the winter months of uncertain weather conditions.

“It is hard to believe we are heading into our 10th annual fitness challenge,” organizer Don Butler says. “What started as a modest goal to accumulate 6,000 kilometres — enough to get us to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver — now sees us setting a goal of 45,000 kms to get us to Tokyo and back for the 2020 Summer Games.”

Members of the group gathered on Sunday at the Lismore Hall to officially launch the challenge and progress through the events planned over the 70 days leading to the conclusion on February 16.

“Our numbers of participants has increased every year to where we had over 100 people participating last year from every corner of District One,” Butler said. “We are looking for even greater numbers this year. We want people to be more physically active at a time of the year when it is easy to stay bundled up, indoors, close to the fire.”

Participants can accumulate kilometres in various ways by logging every hour of physical activity which equals two kilometres. Examples of activities include school sports, rug hooking, art classes and knitting. For those who walk, jog or run, every kilometre covered equals one kilometre on one’s log sheet.

For aerobic activities — such as yoga, swimming, basketball, or hockey — one hour equals five kilometres.

Participants will be encouraged to gather on February 16 at 2 p.m. when sheets will be tallied at the Lismore hall. There will be prizes for everyone who attends and those attending are being asked to contribute to the pot luck supper.

“Hopefully, once again we will meet or exceed our goal,” Butler said. “Together, we can achieve great things and be healthier, both mentally and physically, because of participating.”

Participants will be contacted by their respective team captains on December 14, January 4 and January 25 for their latest totals.

Faye Kinney (902-926-2617), Lorna Cameron (902-926-2929), Joan MacGillivary (902-926-2628) Don Butler (902-926-2589) and Mitchell MacDonald (902-759-3483) are the contacts.

From left: captains Don Butler, Joan MacGillivray, Brenda Park-MacLean and Mitchell MacDonald are joined by Clare Steele from Pictou County Recreation as they lead a group on the first walk to officially open the District I Fitness Challenge. (Goodwin photo)