In New Zealand this year we challenged our participants to do tai chi for 26 consecutive days – representing the 26 years of Taoist Tai Chi® arts in our country – and for a minimum of five minutes a day. A suggested donation of $5 was a fundraiser for the Fenway project.
A mere five minutes may seem like a doddle but in fact it was difficult for people with busy lives to remember, even with the challenge calendar stuck on the fridge! Many a hopeful participant did not complete 26 days. This could be a goal for individual members for next year. And a goal for the organisers to make it work better.
The challenge was not the traditional dan-yu challenge but rather a tai chi challenge as this then included all our beginners. They could do the tai chi moves they had learnt and others could do dan-yus, tor-yus, sets and so on.
Each of our six branches ran its own challenge and chose prize categories, eg. Completing 26 days, the most minutes, the most senior member, best photo, best story and spot prizes. Small, fun prizes were donated but of course the biggest prize for all involved was creating the habit of doing tai chi every day and experiencing the benefit!
Nearly 388 participants took part, almost a third of our membership, and we raised more than $2000 for the International Center Florida.
Some comments from participants:
«Without the incentive of the challenge to encourage us there would have been many days where no tai chi would have been done. There is indeed truth in the comment that it is possible to fit some tai chi into every busy day!»
«The challenge inspired a group of members to meet in the clubroom every morning at 7 am to practice two sets. This 30 minute practice is still going for two days per week.»
«The challenge was an incentive to help those with health, balance and learning problems and give them confidence with achieving the tai chi moves.»