Published on

14 June 2024

Thousands get active as summer game returns

Beat the Street is back - and there's still plenty of time to join in the fun (and maybe win some prizes!)

A group of excited children rush along a path holding up contactless score cards

More than 11,000 people signed up for Wokingham Borough's Beat the Street initiative in its first week alone.

The community game, which is designed to get everyone more active by exploring Wokingham Borough, is back again - and it's already bigger and better than before.

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As well as covering more areas, mostly those where the council wants to improve air quality, this year's number of players is almost double the 6,200 who took part last time.

They've already walked, wheeled or cycled 42,000 miles, which is close to two laps of the Equator, and are hopefully on track to smash the previous record of 151,000 miles.

A child smiles at the camera while holding a contactless card up to a reader to win points

It's free, fun and for everyone

Beat the Street is free to enter and open to all ages and abilities, so everyone is encouraged to take part before it finishes on Wednesday, 17 July.

Players compete for points by tapping a special contactless card on "Beat Boxes" at more than 100 locations across Wokingham town, Winnersh, Woodley, Twyford, Finchampstead, Arborfield, Hurst and Wargrave.

The boxes are attached to lampposts or other street furniture, and people can either walk between them or use other types of healthy, sustainable travel like cycling.

Players can join a school, community, family or workplace team and a range of prizes are on offer - as well as the chance to enjoy some fun competition and top the local leaderboards.

It's run by Intelligent Health, based in Reading, in partnership with the council's My Journey Wokingham team, and funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

A large group of children and adults gather behind a Beat the Street banner and cheer while raising their fists

School enjoys opening day sunshine

Among those taking part on the first day on Wednesday, 5 June, were several classes from Addington SEN School in Woodley, pictured in this article.

Pupils walked, ran or wheeled to their nearest boxes while being guided by school staff, who were accompanied by the My Journey team.

Chris Easton, assistant director for highways and transport at Wokingham Borough Council, said: "Active travel is for everybody, so we're delighted that more people are taking part in this year's expanded game and would love even more people to join in the fun over the next month or so.

"There are so many health benefits to being more active, and it helps the environment too, so we hope this will encourage people to change their daily habits in the long term."

An adult looks on encouragingly as a child in a walking frame holds a score card up to an electronic reader

How to get involved

To play, residents can sign up online and pick up a free card from the locations listed, as well as checking a map of all beat box locations. Alternatively, they can download the Beat the Street app for Apple or Android devices.

Once they're up and running, they can simply visit two Beat Boxes within an hour to collect their first points - and just keep going from there.

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