I bet you didn’t know it, but we won!
And it wasn’t even close. We beat our closest rival by like, 300,000 points!
I know…Pretty cool.
But sadly, this is not the NBA Finals we’re talking about. (And seriously, will we ever get over the sting from that one?! Thank goodness college football starts today – Go Ducks!)
But a victory is a victory, and in this case, the stakes couldn’t be higher, since this game involves your health, the community’s health, and a potential reward for a local school.
What we’re talking about is the annual Healthy at HEB Community Challenge, the second of which officially launches tomorrow and runs through October 31, 2013.
The free, statewide competition matches cities of similar size against each other, in a no holds barred cage-match of sorts, to see who reigns supreme when it comes to healthy living.
Aside from bragging rights, this year there’s an added incentive in the form of a $1,000 grant to support healthy school programs in each of the five winning divisions.
Did I mention that we won last year by 300,000 points? Take that, Austin!
As defending champions, we should probably have a fundamental understanding of how the challenge works. So huddle up, and bring it in.
Like most games, the competition is points based. Communities earn points by having their mayors, schools, local organizations, and individuals take part.
To be eligible, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has to take an official health pledge, upload a video calling out our rivals, and accrues extra points for our city by highlighting and implementing wellness programs and policies. So, think of him like our hype man, point guard and team captain all rolled into one.
Schools earn points for the community by encouraging officials and PTA members to get on board with the health pledge, and by implementing healthy activities and participating in community projects.
Local organizations can also pitch in by taking the pledge, and uploading video of themselves in action to the community challenge website. Groups and businesses are also rewarded for implementing policies that support the health of their members.
Individuals can help the team effort by uploading photos and videos depicting heathy behavior, and by tracking their activity on a weekly basis. You can even earn points for our team by hosting a healthy house party. That’s right, you can bust out that Slip ‘N Slide and help our team win in the process!
The programs is a collaborative effort between HEB, Active Life, and It’s TIme Texas. Active Life is an Austin based nonprofit and the parent company of It’s TIme Texas, whose mission is to make healthy the new normal.
Last year, more than 25,000 people, 30 mayors, and more than 300 communities participated in the challenge, and this year organizers are expecting even more support.
But we don’t have much time to spare. The eight-week challenge tips off tomorrow, so make sure to sign up now at the Community Challenge website, and get as many folks as you can involved.
If we do this right, we may just be able to score $1,000 for a local school, and pull off a win by a mere half-million points or so.
Tom Trevino is a writer and wellness coach based out of San Antonio. His column, The Feed, covers anything and everything related to health and wellness. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with certification and training from the Cooper Institute. He has a fondness for dogs, NPR, the New York Times, and anything on two wheels. When he’s not writing, training, or cooking, you can find him wandering the aisles of Central Market.