An innovative physical activity game that has engaged more than a million people is set to launch in Bridgwater.
The Beat the Street game will take place in Bridgwater from 7th October to 4th November thanks to a National Lottery grant from Sport England.
Beat the Street encourages people to get outside and to get active and is open to anyone of any age who would like to take part. The game works by turning the town into a real-life game and residents will soon start to see special sensors called Beat Boxes appearing on lampposts around the area.
Prior to the game, primary school pupils from participating schools will be provided with fobs while parents and teachers will receive a card from the school so they can accompany children. The wider community can pick up a free contactless card from a distribution point listed on the website www.beatthestreet.me/bridgwater/
Players join a school or community team to join or you can set up your own with a minimum of 12 players. Players then walk, run, scoot, wheel, or cycle between the 31 Beat Boxes which are spaced half a mile apart – tapping the fobs or cards as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score.
Beat the Street was created by Dr William Bird MBE, an expert in physical activity and the founder of Intelligent Health.
He said: “The Beat the Street game has been designed to encourage communities to incorporate lasting changes into their daily lives that will greatly improve their physical and mental health. It also helps reduce congestion and air pollution, improves community cohesion and encourages families to explore the area’s green spaces.
“We know that some people will feel a little uneasy about getting back outside again while we are still living with Covid-19. However, the pandemic has shown us that now, more than ever, it is vitally important to ensure that we adopt healthy lifestyle habits around incorporating physical activity into our days and trying to travel in more active ways by walking or cycling. There has been discussion about a second wave of Covid-19 and if this does happen, one of the best ways we can prepare for it is to get our bodies ready by building the immune system through physical activity. We are so grateful for this National Lottery funding from Sport England which is enabling us to reach more and more people through Beat the Street.”
Jane Knowles, Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership CEO said: “The outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown has been difficult for many of us, but one small silver lining is that it has given us a unique opportunity to think about the way we do things and perhaps reset our way of life; such as ditching the car and walking and cycling more, taking more notice of nature and realising the importance of community. We can’t wait to see how far the town can travel together.”
According to research, one in four people in England does less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, which classes them as inactive. Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day.
The game will be jointly run by Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).
The National Lottery funding from Sport England will not only help people in Bridgwater to get active, but also to leave a positive legacy to improve the community’s health and wellbeing.
For more information on updates on the game, please visit www.beatthestreet.me/bridgwater/ or follow ‘Beat the Street Bridgwater’ on Facebook and follow @SASPsomerset on twitter and sasp_somerset on Instagram.