News release

Colchester Receives 2003 Municipal InNOVAward

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Colchester Receives 2003 Municipal InNOVAward


Plenty of people talk about getting in better physical condition, but how many actually do something about it and take hundreds of people with them? Mayor Mike Smith of the Municipality of Colchester did just that, and it has won his municipality the Municipal InNOVAward for 2003.

The Municipal InNOVAward program was created by the Nova Scotia government to recognize innovation by municipalities and villages in Nova Scotia in the delivery of their services and programs. The annual award provides an opportunity to recognize quality innovation, as well as the chance to spread the word about current innovative programs and services.

This year's winner of the Municipal InNOVAward is the Municipality of the County of Colchester for The Mayor's Challenge. The Mayor's Challenge began with Mr. Smith's personal goal to bike 8,000 kilometres, or roughly the distance across Canada.

Before long, the municipal council decided it wanted to do something about inactive children who were spending too much time in front of the TV and playing video games. The municipality acted by extending The Mayor's Challenge to everyone in Colchester County.

Local businesses, radio and newspapers endorsed and promoted the challenge by offering free publicity and prizes. Within a month of issuing the challenge in January 2003, more than 500 adults, 200 children and 11 schools had signed up.

The challenge offers something for everyone. There are targets for families and individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The Mayor's Challenge recognizes that the most important thing is to be active and to have a goal.

"I'm delighted that so many people in Colchester County have taken up this challenge," said Mr. Smith. "All over the county, children, adults and families are getting out of the house and are getting some exercise. Winning the Municipal InNOVAward is very gratifying to everyone involved with this project."

The challenge will officially end in December, but the municipality is encouraging everyone who participated to continue to make physical activity an integral part of their daily lives.

"The success of this program, its obvious benefits to participants and the community, make it an excellent choice as winner of the 2003 Municipal InNOVAward," said Barry Barnet, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Leading a healthy lifestyle pays dividends today and many years down the road."

More information about the Municipal InNOVAward and The Mayor's Challenge can be found on the Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/awards/default.asp .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Municipality of Colchester has received a provincial award for its innovative physical activity project -- The Mayor's Challenge.

The Mayor's Challenge, which encourages residents of Colchester County to lead a more active lifestyle, is the 2003 recipient of the municipal innovation award.

The Municipal InNOVAward is presented annually to a municipality that shows innovation in delivering programs and services to its resident.

The Mayor's Challenge resulted in hundreds of people across Colchester County becoming more physically active.

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Contact:

Andrew Paton
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-7492
kjd            November 5, 2003         1:25 P.M.