We tried out the Beat the Street Swindon game earlier this week to see how it works and found that it’s a fun, highly motivational way of getting out and exploring the town!
The game was developed by a GP, Dr William Bird, as a way of getting people to really engage with their own neighbourhoods and to introduce the element of competition into physical activity.
The game has been played in more than 100 locations around the UK by more than 1.4m people and the people of Swindon are veterans of the challenge having taken part three times, in 2018, 2019 and 2021. On their first attempt, players clocked up 313,000 active travel miles, and as the 2021 game came to an end, that mileage was overtaken. Nearly 30,000 people took part this time around and travelled 319, 875 miles in the six-week game!
Beat the Street works by inviting people of all ages to collect a free card or fob which can then be tapped on special sensors that are placed around the town. You score points the further you go and points of course mean prizes.
This time around, Haydonleigh Primary School topped the total points leaderboard and Futile Footsteps came top of the average points leaderboard.
Debbie Yockney from Haydonleigh Primary School, who topped the schools total leaderboard for the north west part of the town, said: “Haydonleigh children, parents and staff and our ‘Black cat’ mascot have once again been totally hooked on Beat the Street and enjoying collecting points whether it is joining in with an evening group walk, on their way to and from school or out walking the dog.”
Cailey Whitcher, Secretary of the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group said: “Quite a few of us took part in Beat the Street in 2018 so it was an obvious decision to set up a team this time around.
“We are always keen to encourage our members to stay active and many take part in our regular activities which include football, tennis, swimming and cricket. Therefore, schemes such as Beat the Street are a great way to get and remain active, even while going about normal daily activities like walking the dog or going to school. It’s great fun too, and very inclusive so everyone can be involved.
“We love the fact that players in Swindon can choose to be part of our team, we’d like to thank everyone who joined the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group team for their support in helping to raise further awareness of the amazing things that our members continue to achieve.
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: “It has once again been a great experience to see Beat the Street taking place across Swindon and we’d like to thank everyone who took part.
“We’ve heard from people who have got fitter, spent more quality time together as a family and have really got to know the local area by foot. We’ve heard lovely anecdotes about people who’ve visited every Beat Box, stories about conversations being struck up and people trying out new activities and getting into healthy habits.
“Congratulations to each and every player who got involved with Beat the Street and took the time to come and visit the Beat Boxes. We hope that people will continue to walk or cycle to get around our town and will continue to enjoy being active.”
For more information on the small lifestyle changes that individuals and organisations can make to reduce their carbon footprint, click onto www.swindon.gov.uk/bethechange
Well done to all who took part!