Walking challenge takes first steps

Walking all the way around Vancouver Island isn’t as daunting as it sounds. PacificSport Vancouver Island wants anyone and everyone to give it a try.

The Walk the Rock Challenge, launching in September, isn’t really a walk around the Island. It’s a fitness initiative to get people on the go in their own communities. Participants will be issued a pedometer to count their footsteps, and a website will track their virtual progress.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Liza Taylor, marketing coordinator with PacificSport V.I. “It’s kind of getting people up and moving and healthy doing the things that they normally do, which is walk every day.”

Participants can challenge themselves in a number of ways, by signing up as an individual or as part of a team. One business can challenge another; a classroom of students can challenge its peers across the hall.

As participants reach milestones along their virtual journey, they will receive perks such as gift certificates from event sponsors.

Taylor has approached businesses and community groups about organizing special-event walks under the Walk the Rock umbrella.

The virtual trip around the Island starts and finishes at Sidney, and the average person should make it there sometime in the spring. But  Sidney is not necessarily the end of the line – Taylor envisions a virtual plane ride to Europe and more virtual walking, all the way to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

FOOT NOTES … Walk the Rock is seeking a $10,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project to help with costs such as pedometers. Voting ends June 30. For more information or to vote, click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com