Photo Credit: Submitted by Thorsten Gohl.
Every year the non-profit, the NWT Recreation and Parks Association, challenges northerners to get out and get active in the wintertime by hosting the Walk to Tuk challenge. This year, as we face the isolation and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the message behind the Walk to Tuk challenge was more important than ever: physical activity and community connection is essential to our wellbeing.
As a small non-profit organization, the NWTRPA is proud of this made-in-the-North program as it’s grown over the decade to become the biggest and longest recreational physical activity event in the NWT! It connects communities and participants around the territory and challenges northerners to stay active during the coldest and darkest time of year.
This year over 5,579 people from 31 NWT communities and beyond participated in the challenge. This is more NWT participants than ever before!
“The Walk to Tuk is always an amazing event!” said Bri Krekoski, Active Communities Director at NWTRPA. “To see the motivation, excitement and resilience this year in particular has been really inspiring. Walk to Tuk 2021 saw more NWT residents participate than ever before. That was our goal, and it went a long way towards keeping northerners healthy, happy, and engaged. We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s success,” said Bri Krekoski, Active Communities Director at NWTRPA.
Altogether, the 495 participating teams logged a grand total of 752, 215 kilometres. Nearly 30,000 kms more than last year!
Calculated in hours of exercise, Walk to Tuk participants collectively spent over 179,403 hours walking. On average, each participant accumulated 241 minutes of weekly exercise—nearing double the 150 minutes recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.
As the NWT and the world continues to cope with the pandemic, walking outdoors or in open spaces remains one of the core and key activities people can do safely to stay active. This remained one of the resounding messages the NWTRPA heard from participants throughout Walk to Tuk 2021, along with truly inspiring and powerful stories of how walking has created connection to people and place in the NWT.
Lois Mae Little, captain of Team YK Walking With Our Sisters encouraged us all to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and inspired us the powerful story of using walking to stay connected and care for the women and girls in our communities.
Ashley Menincoche, Edehzhie Community Coordinator for Dehcho First Nations, shared knowledge and stories about Edéhzhíe with all of us—including the announcement of #WalkEdéhzhíe! Walk Edéhzhíe will encourage participants to walk as much as they can out on the land while keeping track of their distance to make their way around the Edéhzhíe protection area in the Dehcho.
Walk to Tuk offered more prizes and some of higher value, such as a $1000 recreation grant to 12 Teams, beaver mitts for Team Captains, flight passes for three different Grand Prize Winners, and more!
Each year Walk to Tuk is the recipient of generous donations from many sponsors who make it possible for the NWTRPA to host this event. We thank our sponsors for their support.
Note to Editors:
- Click here to see all 2021 team and communities.
- Prizes: Grand Prize Winners; All Prize Winners by Community.
- Background on Walk to Tuk 2021
About the NWTRPA:
The NWT Recreation and Parks Association works with communities across the NWT to promote recreation by supporting leaders, communities, and partners through training, advocacy, and networking.
About Walk to Tuk:
For eight weeks during January and February the Walk to Tuk challenge encourages communities, families, friends, schools, and workplaces to form teams and together, conceptually walk the distance of the Big River from Zhatıé Kų́ę́ to Tuktuuyaqtuuq, a total of 1,658 km.
Membership and Communications Coordinator (867) 669-8375