Youngsters and their families are being urged to lead healthier lifestyles — prompted by taking part in a giant game to encourage exercise.
The initiative, called Beat the Street, aims to get people more active by turning their community into the game – schools and community groups compete by walking and cycling to see who can travel the furthest by tapping beeping and flashing sensors across the area. And in return they will accrue points and prizes.
Beat the Street has been set up by Intelligent Health and is being funded by West Sussex County Council Public Health, Adur and Worthing Council, Arun District Council and The Conservation Volunteers.
And councillor Gill Yeates, who is Arun District Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, says she hopes the planned summer activities will help to change people’s perspectives when it comes to trying to stay in shape.
“Beat the Street is a really fantastic way to encourage youngsters and their families to lead a healthier lifestyle. It’s a fun initiative which will get people together in the great outdoors, and hopefully give them an appetite for sport and exercise which will last a lifetime.”
The initiative is coming to West Sussex for the first time following a successful game in East Sussex last year which had more than 33,000 participants.
Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham-by-Sea, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton are set to see thousands of residents compete to see if their school, community group or workplace can walk, run, scoot, or cycle the furthest.
Beat the Street, which will run from 19 June until 31 July, is a free, fun challenge where participants are rewarded with the aforementioned points and prizes for exploring their town on foot, scooter or bicycle.
The special sensors, of which there will be more than 120, are called “beat boxes” and they will appear across parts of Coastal West Sussex. Players simply tap the beat boxes with cards and fobs to map their journey and earn points for themselves and their team. It’s simple; the more beat boxes people swipe during a journey, the more points they earn.
Community groups and schools will be competing against each other to see if they can travel the furthest, scale the leader boards and snaffle prizes including sports, crafts and book vouchers. Families are encouraged to play for their local school while the wider community can create their own teams by getting in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the leaderboard prizes, registered players can also win weekly “lucky tap” prizes for playing along – and these will include vouchers and experience days.
If you fancy the challenge and want to find out more about Beat the Street, it couldn’t be easier. All that you need to do is visit beatthestreet.me/coastalwestsussex for more information.