In 2015, Beat the Street turned the community of Handsworth into a giant walking and cycling game. More than 2,700 residents joined in the challenge and together travelled 13,000 in seven weeks. However, for one player, Beat the Street was just the beginning of their journey.
Sam Sahdra is a 64-year old woman from Handsworth in Birmingham. Sam joined in the Beat the Street game and found that it helped her explore her local area and become more active. Once the game had finished Sam was looking for ways to stay active and carry on the behaviour change sparked by Beat the Street.
Listening to feedback from players about local barriers to physical activity, Beat the Street set up a series of women-only cycling sessions. Hearing about the sessions, Sam jumped at the opportunity to take part:
“I always wanted to learn to ride a bike but thought I was too old at 61.”
The sessions were a success and helped Sam learn how ride a bicycle for the first time ever in her life. Wanting to give something back, she and fellow players set up a Beat the Street Community Cycling Club to teach more people in Handsworth how to cycle. Sam volunteered as a bike instructor and despite only learning to ride months previously was now helping people in her community take up cycling:
“Three years ago I couldn’t even ride a bike and how I have helped more than 90 ladies and 65 children in my community to take up cycling. This wouldn’t have been possible without Beat the Street giving me the confidence to get more active and try something new.”