Crunch Challenge donates to the Coquitlam Foundation ‘Diversity Fund’

(Photo Above: Cheque presentation at the Coquitlam Crunch – Left to right: Robbin Whachell, co-chair Crunch Challenge and Nothin’ Dragon member; Dwight Yochim, ED, Coquitlam Foundation; Brian Kenny, President, Nothin Dragon Masters dragon boat team / co-chair Crunch Challenge; and Alex Bell, Founder, Coquitlam Crunch Challenge. Photo: Joep Olthuis)

2017 Coquitlam Crunch Challenge Date Announced – Tri-City Diversity Groups Sought

On January 13th, organizers of the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge met up with Dwight Yochim, Executive Director of the Coquitlam Foundation to present a portion of funds raised at the 2016 challenge. The donation goes directly into the “Diversity Fund,” and to date the event has raised over $18,000 for the fund.

“The addition of the Nothin’ Dragons’ organizational expertise made the 2016 Coquitlam Crunch Challenge a great success, added much-needed capital to the Coquitlam Foundation-managed Community Diversity Fund,” said Dwight Yochim, Executive Director, Coquitlam Foundation. “As the charitable heart of Coquitlam, the Foundation is always pleased to see organizations such as the Nothin’ Dragons and the Diversity Fund  work together for the betterment of our community. They touch so many aspects of our community and should be proud of this effort.” Grant applications are now being accepted for the Community Diversity Fund, and groups may apply by contacting the Coquitlam Foundation by February 15th.

“We’re inviting all the Tri-Cities diversity groups to become involved in the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge which will be held on September 9, 2017 and we intend to highlight these groups as our thrust for 2017,” said Crunch Challenge co-chair Brian Kenny. “We encourage any diversity groups to contact us as soon as possible to learn how they can participate in the event to bring more awareness to their cause. They can reach us at”

“The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, mental health, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.” – Source: Oregon University.

The event was founded by Coquitlam resident Alex Bell in 2010, whose vision is to have people representing every diversity group participating annually.  The next Coquitlam Crunch Challenge is only 7 months and those interested in participating, or keeping abreast of all event details, are encouraged to join the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge mailing list. To subscribe go to

The 2016 Crunch Challenge would not have been possible without the kind support of New Earth Marketing; Rod Macbeth and 98.7 CKPM FM The Point Radio; Eagle Ridge Chevrolet, Buick, GMC;  Pasta Polo; Thrifty Foods  Vancity Port Moody, Wiivv Custom Fit 3D-Printed Orthotics, Jessica Prasad, Starbucks, MaxFit Movement Institute, Xaler Massage, KD Fitness, Tri-City Printing, and the City of Coquitlam.  To join this year’s enthusiastic team of sponsors and volunteers, email

The Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge is an annual event founded by Tri-City’s resident Alex Bell, which celebrates diversity and supports the Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior dragon boat team and their community programs, and the Coquitlam Foundation’s ‘Diversity’ Fund. The event started in 2010 and takes place at the Coquitlam Crunch hiking trail in B.C., Canada. The Challenge features a Stair Master competition; the Make It Or Break It 4-hour competition; and a Recreational category. Learn more at

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The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge Under New Leadership

The 7th annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge is set for Saturday, September 10th, 2016 and will continue to raise awareness for initiatives that embrace diversity in Coquitlam. Founded in 2010 by Coquitlam resident Alex Bell, the event, which gives competitors the chance to see how many times they can go up and down the Coquitlam Crunch in 4 hours has experienced exponential growth. It started as a 12-hour event, and last year’s switch to the 4-hour format was greatly received.

Due to unforeseen circumstances and the event’s rapid growth, Alex Bell has handed the event over to the Nothin’ Dragon Masters team of Coquitlam, a group of dragon boaters made primarily of seniors who refuse to sit idle. This diverse group, while dealing with the challenges associated with aging, aim to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. Not only does the club support close to 70 masters (male and female) athletes who compete throughout the year, they also mentor challenged youth from the Tri-Cities in their sport; and they support the Riverside Secondary dragon boat team.

“I’ve always wanted this event to go to the community,” said Bell, “and I’m so pleased that Nothin’ Dragon has enthusiastically stepped in. I know they will do a great job.”

The event is being supported by the City of Coquitlam and is a #Coquitlam125 sanctioned event. The Challenge starts at the base of the Coquitlam Crunch at the Scott Creek Community Gardens and the full loop (up and down) of the Crunch trail is approximately 4.5km, taking the average person (walking) anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours. The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge offers something for everyone whether you are a hardcore athlete, or you just want to get out in nature and exercise alone or with your family or friends.

Here are the three ways to participate:

  • Starting at 8 am the Stair Master  challenges athletes to see who is the fastest running up the 437 stairs of the Crunch;
  • From 9 am to 1 pm, the Make It or Break It category challenges athletes to see how many times they can go up and down the full length of the Crunch within 4 hours;
  • From 9:30 am to 1 pm with a formal start at 10 am, the Recreational category simply encourages everyone to come out and support community, get some exercise, enjoy the day and try to complete the Coquitlam Crunch at least once or even twice in 2 hours.

In 2015, overall winner, Matt Sessions completed the 4-hour Make It Or Break It with a total of 8 loops. Jackie Senchyna was the top female competitor with 6 loops, while top youth competitor was Gracie Lorenson with 7 loops.

“Competitors who compete annually have given their feedback through our Facebook page, and although 7 years ago, we started as a simple charity event, we noted the dedication of the athletes, and like other competitions, we realized we had  to step up our game,” said Bell, who will remain on as an event advisor.

Under the new management, the 2016 edition will bring in professional timekeeping thanks to TRIO Sports Events, and registration is being handled by the Running Room. “This year everyone will have a bib and time chip,” said president of the Nothin’ Dragon team, Brian Kenny. “We’re excited to also offer gold, silver, and bronze medals to our top three competitors in the Make It Or Break It and the Stair Master for both male and female in four ages groups.”

Water and sports drinks will be available for free for participants thanks to generous sponsors.  The Stair Master is a $10 entry, and the Make It Or Break It is $25. All entries $20 or over will warrant an optional tax receipt. Suggested donations for the Recreational category are  $20 for adults, $10 for youth or $40 per family, however no donation of any amount will be refused and participation is welcomed without the requirement of a donation. Registration is now underway.

Corporate sponsors are still being sought and are encouraged to get involved in this health-conscious and inclusive initiative by emailing Event organizers wish to acknowledge their sponsors: New Earth Marketing; 98.7 CKPM FM Tri-City Radio; Eagle Ridge Chevrolet, Buick, GMCPasta Polo; Coquitlam Centre; Thrifty Foods and the City of Coquitlam.

[Photo Caption: The Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge changes hands in 2016 as the Nothin’ Dragon Masters will now take the helm of the popular Coquitlam event. Seen here left to right is: Robbin Whachell, three-year volunteer for the Challenge and Nothin’ Dragon member; Alex Bell, Founder, Coquitlam Crunch Challenge; and Brian Kenny, President, Nothin’ Dragon Masters.]

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