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Newtownabbey to be transformed into real-life walking and cycling game

02 September 2016


Tens of thousands of residents are expected to take part in Beat the Street – a hugely successful community-health initiative which has helped hundreds of thousands of people in towns and cities across the UK to become more active. The project in Northern Ireland is being funded by the National Charity partnership – a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco.

Launching on 14 September, Beat the Street will see large parts of Northern Ireland including Newtownabbey, Belfast, White Abbey, Lisburn, Holywood, Cliftonville and Dunmurry turned into a real-life game, where residents will be challenged to walk, cycle or run the equivalent distance of going to outer space. It is expected that more than 40,000 residents of all ages will get involved in the ‘race to space’.  

To participate, players log their distance travelled by tapping cards at the start and end of each journey against Beat Boxes (digital sensors), placed on lampposts across the area. These collect and upload real-time travel data from registered cards onto the Beat the Street website. Prizes will be given to the teams who travelled the furthest distance. There is also a prize for the individual who gained the highest average number of points. Players visit the website and social media to register and to get these updates. It’s interactive, virtual and live, 24 hours a day.

Jenna Hall, Programme Director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “Diabetes UK, the BHF and Tesco are working together to help millions of people to improve their health through programmes such as Beat the Street.

Beat the Street is a fun game that brings whole communities together, by encouraging families to get involved in active travel, with the hope that these changes will continue long after the game has finished. I urge residents in Newtownabbey to get involved this summer and take on the challenge. Even small changes, over time, can make a real difference to your health, and with the vital funds raised by Tesco colleagues we know that by working together we can help reduce people’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.”

The National Charity Partnership has already funded successful Beat the Street games in towns and cities across the UK under its Let’s Do This programme, including East London, Nottingham, North Lanarkshire, Sandwell and Rhondda Cynon Taff. Through money raised by Tesco colleagues the National Charity Partnership will continue to work in 15 areas across all four UK nations in 2016 and 2017 to help millions of people to eat better and be more active.

For more information about Beat the Street, visit www.beatthestreet.me/ni  

To find out more about the National Charity Partnership’s work in the community visit www.lets-dothis.org.uk