There was a pep in the step of children running home from school yesterday across parts of Dublin, Limerick and Waterford as a new physical activity initiative involving turning the cities into a giant game got under way.
Beat the Street is a unique physical activity programme that inspires thousands of people to get moving by transforming local communities into a fun and active game.
Running from yesterday through to Wednesday 1 November, Beat the Street will see schools, businesses, families and charities in each of the three cities compete to see who can walk, run or cycle the furthest.
Dozens of beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes have been placed on lampposts in each area which can be tapped with free Beat the Street cards which can be collected at local libraries or leisure centre.
Players can set up a team or join one of the many playing in each area and start earning points and prizes.
The Dublin game is expected to get a big boost today as one of the spot prizes, donated by Dublin GAA, is two highly prized tickets to Sunday’s All Ireland Football Final.
To be in with a chance of winning two All-Ireland Football tickets register your card & start playing today! Winner to be announced Friday. pic.twitter.com/nNuwkeAtTu
— BTS Dublin (@BTSDublin) September 13, 2017
Beat the Street is run by Intelligent Health UK and is funded by Sport Ireland, Healthy Ireland and Dormant Accounts Fund, along with Dublin City Council, Limerick City and County Council and Waterford City and County Council.
The aim of the initiative is to encourage thousands of people to explore their local area with their friends and family and get themselves more physically active.
“One of Sport Ireland’s key strategic aims is the increase in participation in physical activity across all ages and backgrounds,” said Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy.
“Beat the Street will encourage participation in physical activity among communities while maximising physical activity and recreation amenities in the natural environment and promoting walking and cycling strategies in each local area.”
More than 600,000 worldwide have played Beat the Street with previous games taking place in towns and cities across the UK. Last year, a Beat the Street game in Belfast saw more than 32,000 thousand people from the city participate with 157,00 miles travelled collectively in just seven weeks. Following huge success in the other countries, the game is being launched in the Republic of Ireland for the first time.
“We all know that we should be physically active, but getting people to go outdoors and start moving can be a challenge,” said Dr William Bird, a family doctor and creator of the game.
“Beat the Street is unlike any other physical activity initiative, instead of pressuring people into fitness we turn whole towns and cities into a giant game where getting outdoors and running, walking and cycling with your friends and family becomes a fun, social activity.”
“We look at the emotional and physical barriers that people have to getting active and overcome them by showing how getting active can be an enjoyable part of everyday life.
“More than 150,000 people have already played Beat the Street so far in 2017, and we are thrilled to be able to be bring our challenge to Dublin, Limerick and Waterford for the first time.”
To find out more information about Beat the Street in Dublin including where to pick up a Beat the Street card and map, visit www.beatthestreet.me/Dublin.
Sport Ireland and Dublin City Council are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community. Rob Hartnett the Founder of Sport for Business sits on the Board of the Dublin City Sport and Wellbeing Partnership.