Paul Kingsmith

Communities Choosewell , an initiative supported by Alberta Health and Wellness and managed by Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, offers communities an opportunity to promote healthy living throughout the year by providing resources to those introduced in participating. For the past few years, the City of Lethbridge’s Recreation and Culture department and the Lethbridge College Be Fit For Life Centre have teamed up to utilize these free resources and help make our community more aware of active living and healthy eating opportunities. The efforts of our community and the two organizations were acknowledged at an awards ceremony on the evening of Nov. 21, where Lethbridge received two awards – Building Community Capacity, and an Overall High Achiever Award.

Activities that have been promoted in Lethbridge include the Healthy Eating Challenge that took place in September, the Acts of Random Physical Activity Challenge in June, and an Iron Chef Challenge – Battle Squash, which took place this fall. A grant was given to the two organizations to help publish the results of the Iron Chef Challenge to help educate the community on the many ways squash can be cooked, and to encourage people to try, or eat more of, this locally grown, healthy and affordable food.

The Overall High Achiever award also came with a grant that the Be Fit For Life Centre will use towards helping provide free activities to engage youth and their parents in active living.

“We have had a fun year, from playing hopscotch and talking about Physical Literacy at the Word on the Street Festival, to finding out that you can make ice cream with squash! Our community has been eager to participate and people realize quickly that it isn’t hard to be more active, but it’s about making it a habit and realizing how many fun and affordable ways there are to do that,” said Lori Harasem, Recreation and Culture Development Manager with the City of Lethbridge.

The City and the Be Fit For Life Centre will be participating in the 2014 challenges and hope to have even more community participation. Suggestions for fun, low cost activities can be found on both websites and through following Facebook and Twitter.