More people to get active thanks to increased National Lottery Funding for Beat the Street






Middlesbrough, Northampton and a range of other areas will host the popular Beat the Street game thanks to an additional £696k funding from the National Lottery via Sport England.

The extension will support a further 100,000 people through the physical activity programme that creates a buzz around getting outdoors and keeping active.

The community physical activity game encourages people of all ages and abilities to get active together and explore their area by walking, cycling or rolling. The programme also brings together a wide range of local organisations to both support local priorities and help promote other local opportunities to be active and have fun. Building on delivery of the programme throughout the pandemic, Beat the Street can help people be active in a way that feels safe and enjoyable.

The additional funding from Sport England means half a million more people will get active through the programme by walking and cycling more often.

The programme has been delivered over the last three years and the evidence base has been impressive. A total of 70% of adults who were inactive when they registered to take part before the game and 74% of children who were less active were lifted into regular activity following the game period and at six months later. Longer term, this means that the game leaves a legacy of behaviour change for local people.

Even with enforced restrictions, more than 150,000 children and adults have been able to play the game safely during the pandemic and have found it help their mental and physical health. Leicester was one of the first cities to go into lockdown and Leicester resident Bruce Smith from LOROS, one of Leicester’s three chosen charities, said: “Beat the Street is a great initiative that encourages our local community to get out exploring their city, whilst keeping fit and making the most of the summer. Not only that, but we as a charity benefit too and it is great seeing the points leaderboard to keep tabs on how many people are being kind enough to support us.”

The largest programme is currently underway in Sheffield as part of their city-wide strategy called Move Move. An incredible 57,000 residents are taking part and 37 per cent come from the highest areas of deprivation.

Dr Anna Lowe from Move More Sheffield, said: “We worked with partners to bring Beat the Street to Sheffield because we know that mass participation events are a great way of capturing people’s imagination which enables conversations about physical activity.”

A teacher at a school in Sheffield, Ellie Davison, added: “Just want to say a huge thank you! The kids are absolutely obsessed with Beat the Street and I have never seen anything motivate them to get moving so much! They have so much school pride, and the team ethos around school is lovely. What a brilliant idea and such a lovely boost for the kids who have had such a challenging year. Thank you for everything.”

The programmes in Northampton and Middlesbrough will take place in September with more games to be announced for the spring.

Mike Diaper, Executive Director for Children, Young People and Tackling Inactivity at Sport England said: “After a difficult 16 months, getting active in a way that is both safe and fun has never been more important. As part of our Covid-19 response work to help people stay active during the pandemic, we’re delighted to boost the reach of Beat the Street, helping half a million more people out to explore their cities on foot and by bike. Supporting 100,000 more people through the behaviour change programme will help communities to continue being active in the long-term — a vital part of health and wellbeing as we start to recover from the pandemic.”

*Measure: Short Active Lives Survey



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