A contest to promote healthier lifestyles for employees of local businesses while raising money for the development of a trail system has been canceled due to lack of participants.
The competition, called Seymour’s Greatest Loser, won’t happen this year because only one team signed a contract to participate.
“While this is disappointing, I believe we have learned a great deal about the business community and what changes we need to make in order to better meet their needs,” said Brent Jameson, city parks and recreation director.
This week, the Jackson County Commissioners voted 3-0 to allow the county to enter two teams in the contest. The deadline to join, however, was April 1.
The competition would have given employees of local businesses and government units an opportunity to lose weight together in teams of 10 while receiving a discount from area gyms and advice from wellness coaches.
Some local gyms would have offered their services free of cost to participants, bringing in new faces to their facilities.
The competition was going to raise money for the Trails Development Fund to help extend the trails in the city. The cost was $5,000 to register a team of 10, with a fundraising goal of $30,000.
Jameson said he hopes the contest will be offered again next year after making it more enticing to businesses.
“We are going to look at all fundraising options as a committee (trails committee) and see what the best route is,” he said. “We received some good feedback from the business community. They asked that we come to them in the late summer, so that they can budget for it.”
Jameson also said there might need to be some changes to how many participants or employees can be on a team.
“We were limiting it to 10 so that we could offer contestants many different opportunities and resources. However, 10 is tough for some of the larger companies that have hundreds of employees,” he said.
Whatever changes are made, he’s hopeful a solution will be found.
“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained,'” he said. “I certainly believe that we gained a lot from this experience, and we will be in a better position in the future.”