Beat the Street is back and bigger than ever

Local families are being urged to get active when Beat the Street returns to Lisburn next month.
Local families are being urged to get active when Beat the Street returns to Lisburn next month.

Beat the Street – the hugely popular physical activity initiative that got thousands of people walking and cycling in 2016 – is set to return to Lisburn this September and is bigger than ever.

Once again, for seven weeks from Wednesday 13 September, Beat the Street will transform Lisburn, Belfast, Newtownabbey and Holywood into an interactive game, with local people being rewarded with points and prizes for getting moving across their community.

More than 370 beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes will be dotted across the area which people can tap with cards to track their journey. In doing so, they will receive points and win prizes either for their chosen school, community group or as individuals.

Beat the Street is being brought to Northern Ireland by the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, who are working together to help millions of people improve their health through physical activity and health eating programmes.

Jenna Hall, programme director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “Beat the Street is a fun game that brings whole communities together. It encourages families to get involved in active travel and we hope these changes will continue long after the game has finished.”

In 2016, the seven-week game saw more than 30,000 local people from Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Holywood join in with Beat the Street, walking and cycling 157,000 miles – more than 30 times the length of The Great Wall of China. People living, working or going to school in Northern Ireland are being challenged to beat last year’s distance and go even further in 2017.

Beat the Street helped get thousands of people active in Northern Ireland last year including Janet Fitchie, who found the game helped her recover from back surgery.

Janet is one of thousands of players eager for the return of the game.

She said: “I would encourage everyone to take part in Beat the Street, either as a group or by yourself. No equipment is needed, it’s free, it improves fitness and is a great way to discover local areas and meet people.

“This year having had further back surgery, I am looking forward to setting myself daily goals to push and motivate myself with my rehab. Being able to track my journeys is encouraging and gaining points to pass on to the group of my choice is fun. Roll on 13 September!”

Follow Beat the Street Northern Ireland on Facebook or on Twitter (@BTS_NI) to find out more about the game.

The National Charity Partnership is funding Beat the Street in Northern Ireland as part of its Let’s Do This campaign to help people improve their lifestyle and reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. To find out more click on www.lets-dothis.org.uk