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ITT Community Challenge | February 16, 2017

Woah, We’re Halfway There! Community Challenge Midpoint Rundown

We’re six weeks into the 2017 Community Challenge, marking the halfway point, and we are truly blown away by what Texans are doing to step up. This year’s Challenge has already received more registered users and more mayor pledges than ever before, and participants representing more than 300 Texas communities have collectively lost 7,000 pounds since January 9th! Take that, holiday weight gain.

Beyond motivating us to shed unwanted pounds in the new year, the Community Challenge is a catalyst for cities and towns of all sizes to launch new health programs and events in their schools, workplaces, and communities at large. In Pharr,
16508797_1455240084486293_2268722532698525621_nTexas, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) has been hosting free fitness classes and opening their track to the public throughout the competition. Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez, the district’s director of communications and public information, shared, “PSJA has encouraged teachers, staff and administration to take the Pledge! We have also motivated them to be active and healthy through various free activities at our stadium including free Zumba and yoga classes from now until March 31. To win the title, we are working closely with the City of Pharr to promote various healthy events… We are aware of the obesity issues affecting families in the Rio Grande Valley, and we want to take part in educating our students and families about the importance of being active and eating healthy.” With the addition of the Community Event activity type to the Challenge this year, numerous communities have offered similar free fitness classes and hosted health fairs, races, walks with their mayors, and other healthy events that have been a huge success.

In the Capitol city, Austin’s lead in the metro division is largely due to active leaders with austin-ballet-austinAustin ISD, The University of Texas at Austin, and Ballet Austin. As an incentive to step up, Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness is offering a free drop-in class to any Austinite who earns more than 1,200 points and an entire free month of classes to anyone who earns more than 12,000 points! At UT Austin, advertising student Ashlynne Youngblood recorded this video while biking (demonstrating serious coordination,) to share how increasing her physical activity for the Community Challenge has helped her decrease stress, improve her mood, and be more successful in school and at work.

While it’s incredibly impressive that seven communities including three in the Small size category (shout out to Prosper, Lancaster, and lancaster-isd-belt-line-elTrophy Club) have already earned more than 1 million points, this doesn’t mean it’s too late for any community to take the Challenge by storm. We know from past years that anything can happen in the final weeks if a city or town’s schools, businesses, community groups and local government all get on board. It’s still anyone’s game, so keep snapping those Healthy Selfies, continue to get creative with your promotional efforts, and keep working towards your 2017 health goals!

If you or your school, school district, workplace, or entire community has done something above and beyond to earn points in this year’s Challenge, we want to hear about it. Share your story with us to inspire fellow Texans! 

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