How keeping active becomes green action


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/07/2021 (698 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Last month, Lance readers learned about the Green Action Centre’s ‘pandemic pivot’ for its 30th annual commuter challenge, which ran from May 30 to June 5. This year, participants could log all trips made using active or sustainable transportation.

Omena Babalola had always been interested in the event, but between work and training as an athlete, she did not have the time to take part.

As soon as the Island Lakes resident found out about the change in format, her reaction was, “Now you’re speaking my language, sign me up.”

Supplied photo Omena Babalola walked 43.09 kilometres between May 30 and June 5 as part of the Green Action Centre's 30th annual commuter challenge.

COVID-19 restrictions have had Babalola working from home and doing more walking than ever, and she completed 43.09 kilometres as part of the commuter challenge.

“Before the pandemic, I was lifting weights at the gym and running,” said Babalola, who competes at the national masters level for athletes age 35 and older. She was scheduled to represent Team Canada at the World Masters athletic championship in Toronto in 2020, ranked first in Manitoba in the 60-metre and 200-metre sprints.

When that event was cancelled, Babalola was determined to stay fit and began to train at home and explore southeast Winnipeg through physically distanced walks with friends to keep in touch.

“I started doing seven to 10 kilometres every evening. I dragged people along with me. It didn’t matter if they could only do three to five kilometres at a time. It was a way to be together.”

Babalola visited Southdale, Sage Creek and River Park South. One day, her group ventured into Royalwood and the Bois-des-Esprits.

“We never knew it existed,” she said. “We found the deer and that became our most interesting route.

“A lot of women, because of life’s pressures, we tend to forget to look after our bodies. Any little change adds up,” Babalola said.

The 2021 Commuter Challenge saw:

• 2,420 individuals register,
330 teams, with 169 of those in Winnipeg alone;

• 287,024 kilometres of active or sustainable trips completed,

• These activities kept 60,156 kilograms of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere.

According to the Green Action Centre, less than half of all Manitobans get enough physical activity. Using sustainable transportation allows people to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. It’s something that Omena Babalola lives every day.

For more information, visit or call 204-925-3777.

Tanya Misseghers is a community correspondent for Royalwood.

Tanya Misseghers

Tanya Misseghers
Royalwood community correspondent

Tanya Misseghers is a community correspondent for Royalwood.

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