Beat the Street Barnsley 2021 campaign received an official launch at Locke Park this week.
The event was attended by organisers and pupils from Shawlands Primary School. They were invited to try out the free game, which encourages people of all ages and abilities to get moving and to incorporate active travel into their daily lives.
Beat the Street once again challenges schools, workplaces and community groups to see how far they can walk, run, wheel or cycle over six weeks, tapping Beat Boxes along the way in return for points and prizes.
The Beat Boxes are a familiar sight in the town as the local community embraced the challenge in 2019 when more than 25,000 residents of all ages and abilities taking part. Together, they walked, ran, cycled, scooted and wheeled 144,810 miles during the six-week game to win points and prizes.
Now, organisers challenge participants to go one better this year when the game takes place from Thursday 10 June to Thursday 22 July. Once again, Beat the Street is open to anyone in the community who would like to get more active. It's free to take part, and once the game begins, players tap contactless cards or key fobs for children against Beat Boxes on lampposts to track their journey and earn points for their team.
After collecting a card, players simply find a Beat Box on the Beat the Street Barnsley map and hold their card over it to register the journey. Then walk, cycle, scoot, run, or wheel to another Beat Box within an hour to score 10 points and keep going! The further players go and the more Beat Boxes they tap, the more points they will score.
Throughout the six-week competition, the teams that clock up the highest number of points will win vouchers for sports equipment or books, and there are 'lucky tap' prizes given out to individuals during the game. There are also leaderboards for the highest number of average points, meaning that teams of all sizes are in with a chance of winning prizes.
Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health for Barnsley, said: "Barnsley Council is committed to encouraging local residents to get more active, and we hope to help improve the health and wellbeing of everyone across the borough.
"Beat the Street is a fantastic initiative to get children, families and our communities active. We are incredibly excited to bring it back to Barnsley this year and can't wait to see how far everyone can walk, run, cycle, and scoot during the challenge.
"We hope that as many Barnsley residents as possible will take part earning points and prizes for themselves and their schools while getting active and spending time outdoors."
Cllr Chris Lamb, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Transportation, said: "Active travel benefits our communities in so many ways, from improving health and wellbeing to reducing air pollution. We're excited to have Beat the Street here in Barnsley again and can't wait to see everyone joining in.
"Anyone living, working or studying in the area can get involved – it's completely free to play and is an excellent opportunity to go outdoors, spend time with your friends and family and get moving.
"I would encourage everyone to sign up and get involved."
Claire Pease, Year 6 Teacher at Shawlands Primary School, said: "Beat the Street 2019 was a fantastic experience. It helped to motivate children to get out and about around Barnsley.
"We loved the community spirit it brought with it and the added bonus of improved fitness. We loved taking the children out to 'Beat the Street'!"
Some of the children from Shawlands Primary School were reflecting on the project that has happened in 2019 and were getting excited about this year's Beat the Street. Belle, age 11, said: "It's a fun way to get exercise and go to lots of new places. Our teachers even got involved too!"
Maddie, age 11, said: "I loved using the fob last time we played the game, going on long walks with my family all around Barnsley with my Nan, Grandad, Mum, and baby brother and sister."
Finn, age 11, said: "I loved getting more exercise than I would usually do. I went out to Beat The Street with my Mum and Gran and loved going further to find new Beat Boxes. I'm really excited for this year's game!"
The event held at Locke Park was held in line with current Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, and social distancing was in place. If taking part in this year's Beat the Street, please remember to follow the government guidance to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.