Beat the Street proves popular in Popley!

Twenty-two percent of residents in Popley, Basingstoke have just completed Beat the Street travelling round the world on the way!

The competition ran from 30th September to 11th November and saw Popley residents rise to the challenge of walking, cycling or running.

Beat the Street was supported by Basingstoke and Deane Council and 2,426 people took part – 22% of residents.

The prize giving ceremony was held on Friday 20 November. A prize of £250 was awarded to Ian Bailey who was the highest scoring individual in the competition. Part of the Melrose Hall and Popley Fields Community Cycle Club, he travelled an incredible 330 miles, despite having recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. “My GP said I should do more exercise, but will probably be surprised to hear how far I’ve walked,” he joked.

Melrose Hall and Popley Fields Community Cycle Club were winners of average points leaderboard and will use their prize money to fund free bike maintenance sessions in January to help people ensure their bikes are roadworthy and safe. Vicki Jackson from the team said: “We have had a great time competing in in Beat the Street and through this competition we have gained two new members and two additional members that want to ride with us in the future.

“As a ride leader I now have a better knowledge of local cycle paths and have planned a few new routes. It has also helped me find out where cycle routes can be improved in Popley and from this I have participated in the council cycle strategy. Whilst out on the streets I have noticed a big improvement in the friendliness of other participants, cheery hellos, helping each other to find the boxes, discussing the best routes between Beat Boxes.”

St Bede’s Catholic Primary School won the overall leaderboard and came second on the average points board. Their team comprising 505 people travelled a total of 8,018 miles.

The school received a special trophy and winning cheque from Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Councillor Anne Court. The school is hoping to use the money to assist with their forthcoming playground redevelopment.

Katherine Adams, PE lead and reception teacher said: “The children absolutely loved Beat the Street and were really inspired and motivated much more than other walking initiatives. We are quite an active school anyway but this scheme brought together the whole community and brought out the school’s competitive side.

“All of the pupils were not only walking to school but also walking and going out on bikes at weekends and in the evenings. Children, staff and parents have all had a lot of fun and found the Beat Boxes very sociable.”

Marnel Junior School came second on the leaderboard for highest number of miles travelled.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant from Marnel, Trish Legge said: “The children have loved it and you could hear a real buzz in the playground. It really gave them something to do and helped them discover new places.”

Suny Ravenscroft from Beat the Street added: “Congratulations to everyone who walked, cycled and ran in the Beat the Street competition and well done to the winning teams. We’d like to thank everyone who helped us walk as far as possible. It has been a very successful initiative with thousands of people taking part across the area. We’d love you to keep up the good work by continuing to ditch the car and to carry on adopting active lifestyles.”

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