Beat the Street Wokingham launches

With us all feeling the impact of Covid, particularly disadvantaged communities and the disproportionate inequality in disadvantaged communities’ access to good quality physical activities for people who can’t afford them a new free physical activity launches in Wokingham Beat the Street offering young people, adults and older people the opportunity to have some fun and get out and explore Wokingham either walking, cycling, wheeling or scooting boosting their mental and physical wellbeing. The Sir Michael Marmot review Build Back Fairer urged everyone in the country to offer more equal access to physical activity and Beat the Street certainly does that.

The popular physical activity game Beat the Street gets underway across Wokingham Town Centre, Finchampstead and Woosehill.

People of all ages are invited to ditch the car and get active as Beat the Street Wokingham gets underway.

Primary school pupils 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 contactless card from a distribution point listed at www.beatthestreet.me/wokingham

You can pick up the items you need, a fob for children or a card for adults, from Emmbrook Convenience Store (Reading Road, Wokingham), Morrisons (Woosehill), Wokingham Library (Denmark Street, Wokingham), the Co-Op (Finchampstead Road, Finchampstead) and Aldi (Wellington Road, Wokingham).

The game takes place across Wokingham town centre, Woosehill and Finchampstead for six weeks and challenges residents of all ages and abilities to see how far they can walk, run, scoot, wheel or cycle around the game area.

The free, fun game will take place across Wokingham’s air quality management areas from Tuesday, 8 June until Tuesday, 20 July and encourages people of all ages to incorporate active travel into their daily lives in return for points and the chance to win prizes. It has been played in more than 100 towns and cities all over the UK, including Woosehill and Emmbrook in 2015 and Woodley in 2016.

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “Beat the Street is a fantastic, free-to-enter initiative and anyone can get involved. Remember you’ll need to pick up your fobs and cards before it all starts next week.

“Why not consider starting a workplace team or joining a school team and see if you could walk or cycle to work as well as getting out and about at lunchtime? Not only would you be doing great things for your health and to improve air quality, but you could walk your way to supporting a local charity.”

Beat the Street was devised by Reading GP Dr William Bird MBE in 2010 to get communities active and to make physical activity accessible to everyone.

The game helps communities to increase their physical activity levels, reduce traffic and congestion plus helps improve air quality and helps families spend time safely in green spaces together.

Players use a free card (adults) or fob (primary school-aged children) which they hover over the 73 special sensors called “Beat Boxes” which will appear on lampposts around the game area. Simply find your nearest Beat Box on the map to register your journey, hover your card or fob over it until it beeps and flashes, then walk, cycle, run, wheel or scoot to the next Beat Box within an hour to score 10 points!

Players then walk, roll, scoot, cycle or run between the 73 Beat Boxes scoring points with their fobs or cards as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score for their community or school team. Each week is themed with different activities to help participants get the most out of their Beat the Street experience.

Beat the Street is being organised by Intelligent Health on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council and My Journey Wokingham, and is funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The game areas have been selected in line with Wokingham town centre’s air quality management area (AQMA) but anyone from across Wokingham borough is welcome to take part.

The changes to the game mean that you do not need to touch a Beat Box, players can simply hover their card or fob near the sensor and it will register the swipe. Further measures such as frequent sanitisation of Beat Boxes and temporary pavement markings to help with social distancing will also be put in place.

For more information, click onto www.beatthestreet.me/wokingham or search for BTS Wokingham on social media.

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