Thousands of schoolchildren are set to sign up to an exciting new walking, cycling and running game which begins in Wolverhampton later this month.
Around 50 local schools have pledged to take part in Beat the Street, a walking and cycling challenge in which anyone, young or old, can score points for the number of miles they travel on foot or bike.
There are prizes for individuals and teams up for grabs, including a share of £5,000 worth of goodies for the teams that travel the furthest during the seven-week game. There are also daily “lucky tap” prizes.
Beat the Street has been a massive hit when it has been staged in other parts of the UK and America, and is being launched in Wolverhampton by the city’s Public Health team as part of its call to action to tackle the obesity problem facing the area.
A launch event was held at Woodthorne Primary School in Tettenhall, one of the schools taking part, on Wednesday (10 February). Headteacher Justin Crilly said: “Everyone at the school is excited about taking part in Beat the Street. It sounds like a brilliant way of encouraging people to walk wherever possible and links in well with our aim of getting our children to stay healthy.”
The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It’s great to see that children at Woodthorne Primary and other schools around Wolverhampton are so excited about Beat the Street and are really looking forward to taking part in the game.
“Beat the Street promises to be great fun and gives people the chance to team up with friends, family, school mates and work colleagues to see how many points they can score.”
Beat the Street takes place from Wednesday 24 February until Wednesday 13 April, 2016. To play, people can pick up their free Beat the Street card from a range of venues, including libraries, leisure centres, community centres or Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and register online at www.wolves.beatthestreet.me.
To log their journeys, players simply tap their card against at least two of the 190 or so special sensors, called Beat Boxes, which will be placed on lampposts across Wolverhampton. Beat Box locations can be found online or on special maps available at all card collection points.
Tapping the card against the nearest Beat Box at the start of their journey, at locations en route and again at the end calculates the total distance travelled. Points are awarded and recorded against the card and will go towards their individual and team total and towards the city’s overall challenge total.
Players will be able to monitor their progress by logging on to the Beat the Street website and top scorers — including teams and individuals — will be in the running for some great prizes.
Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said “Beat the Street is designed to inspire people to be physically active, with the intention that they will continue these lifestyle choices beyond the competition.
“I’d encourage everyone to pick up their card from one of the distribution points listed online and see how far they can walk.”
Beat the Street is run by Intelligent Health and founder Dr William Bird said: “We’ve approached schools directly, and the take-up has been fantastic. However, there’s still time to join in whatever your age.
“Whether you’re an individual, a business, a voluntary organisation or a team, there are great prizes to be won and the incentive of getting more active.”
Anyone interested in taking part in Beat the Street should click onto www.wolves.beatthestreet.me, www.facebook.com/BeattheStreetWolves or www.twitter.com/BTSWolves to find out more, with registration opening soon.