Bridgwater residents walk 27,000 miles to ‘Beat the Street’

More than four thousand parents, teachers and children have signed up to a new physical activity challenge, ‘Beat the Street’, walking more than twenty-seven thousand miles between them.

The giant game sweeping the streets of Bridgwater is being run by Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), funded by the National Lottery via Sport England and managed by Intelligent Health.

Beat the Street, which runs until 4 November, encourages people to get outside and get active and is open to anyone of any age who would like to take part.

The competition has turned the town into a real-life game with special sensors called Beat Boxes on lampposts around the area. Players can walk, run, scoot, wheel, or cycle between the thirty-one Beat Boxes which are spaced half a mile apart – tapping a special fob or card as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score.

The challenge was created by Dr William Bird, a GP working on the NHS frontline against Covid-19. It is low-risk, contactless and easy to play whilst maintaining social distancing:

  • The Beat Boxes are ‘contactless’ – there is no need to touch the Boxes with the card or fob.
  • There are 2 metre markers to remind players to keep their distance – giving players space if there are others waiting for their turn at the Box.
  • Large groups are not encouraged to gather – according to the “rule of six” implemented by the government no more than six should gather together and they should stay socially distanced.

Prior to the game, primary school pupils from participating schools were provided with fobs while parents and teachers received a card from the school so they can accompany children.

It’s not too late to join in – the wider community can pick up a free contactless card from Bridgwater Library. Sign up at www.beatthestreet.me/bridgwater/ and follow the game at https://www.facebook.com/BeattheStreetBridgwater/ .

Beat the Street is an ideal opportunity to make a small lifestyle change that can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing.

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health and Wellbeing, explained: “It has been a tough year for us all, but for many it has been a time to reflect and look at ways to improve their quality of life. Coronavirus has brought it home to us all, how important it is to make changes to improve our health and fitness levels.

“Beat the Street is an exciting joint initiative, a fun way to take small steps towards a healthier future.”

Dan Tremain, SASP Project Officer, commented: “It has been amazing to see so many children and families taking part together and we have had really positive feedback from schools and early years settings.

“We have been told of children making their parents walk further after school to reach new boxes, new play dates being created through conversations at beat boxes and families spending their weekends cycling around to reach all of the boxes. We are really pleased that through this fun game, people are getting out and being active but also improving their mental and social wellbeing”

Ends

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

  • The Beat the Street game has a different theme each week.
  • This week it is: Go Wild Week, where Beat the Street is helping participants to discover some of the amazing parks, woodlands and waterways right on your doorstep in Bridgwater.
  • To celebrate Go Wild week, they are giving away double points on every Beat Box in parks, woodlands and waterways in Bridgwater this weekend.
  • Further information on the game can be found at: www.beatthestreet.me/bridgwater/

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