The Beat the Street Swindon game in 2019 (pre COVID)
The Beat the Street game is back!
The walking and cycling initiative that has twice turned Swindon into a real-life interactive game is returning from Wednesday, 15 September to Wednesday, 27 October.
Swindon residents are well-versed in the Beat the Street game; in 2018, more than 32,000 local residents walked, cycled and rolled 313,000 miles and again in 2019, 25,978 participants clocked up 252,126 active travel miles.
Beat the Street is about getting communities moving by helping people to make small changes, such as walking or cycling to school every day, to improve health and help make being active part of everyday life. Evidence shows that the programme really helps adults and children become more active and encourages families to spend more time together outdoors and in green spaces.
Since it was created by GP Dr William Bird, the game has been played by more than 1.4m people in more than 120 locations in the UK and beyond. Beat the Street has not only had a significant impact on increasing how active people are, but also helps reduce congestion and improves air quality.
Also new for this year, participants are being offered awards on the www.beatthestreet.me/swindon website where they can see their in-game achievements.
The game is free and open to anyone of any age who would like to take part. Children use a fob which will be provided by participating primary schools, and adults can pick up a free card from one of the distribution points listed on the Beat the Street Swindon website.
Players then find their nearest Beat Box which will appear on lampposts around Swindon and some surrounding villages. Your first visit to a Beat Box registers the journey; then walk, cycle or roll to the next Beat Box within an hour to score 10 points. Then keep going! It has recently been adapted with more sensitive Beat Boxes and new cards to ensure that it is COVID safe and contactless. Simply hover your card or fob over the Beat Box and it will beep and flash to record your points.
There are prizes for the teams and individuals that travel the furthest, plus there are leaderboards for total points and also average points so that teams of all sizes are in with a chance of winning a prize. You can also help a local charity get a donation, and there are “lucky spot” prizes just for taking part.
Beat the Street is brought to you by Swindon Borough Council working in partnership with Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP), and Swindon Healthy Schools. It is delivered by Intelligent Health.
Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said: “After two fantastic games, we often get asked about bringing Beat the Street back to Swindon so it is a real delight to be able to announce that we have commissioned the game once again. We know that one of the best things people can do right now for their physical and mental health is to move more and to get out into green space where possible, and Beat the Street really helps people do just that in a safe way.
“It’s free to take part in Beat the Street and it’s open to everyone regardless of age, ability or background. More than 250,000 people across the UK have played the game safely since the beginning of the pandemic, and it has really helped to get people out exercising and spending time with friends and family. We hope that it will provide a real incentive to get Swindon moving.”
More information will be available www.beatthestreet.me/Swindon and on social media at @BTSSwindon
To find out other ways you can stay active and reduce your environmental footprint, visit the Be the Change webpages: www.swindon.gov.uk/bethechange