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Beat the Street set to return to Sandwell this February

Beat the Street – the hugely popular physical activity initiative that had more than 300,000 walking and cycling in 2016 – is set to return to Sandwell this February.

Once again, for seven weeks from Saturday 18th February, Beat the Street will transform Rowley, Oldbury, Smethwick, West Bromwich, Tipton and Wednesbury into an interactive game with local people rewarded with points and prizes for getting moving across their community.

More than 200 beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes will be dotted across the area which people can tap with cards and key fobs to track their journey. In doing so, they will receive points and win prizes either for their chosen school, community group or as individuals.

Beat the Street is being brought to Sandwell by the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco who are working together to help millions of people improve their health through physical activity and healthy eating programmes.

Jenna Hall, programme director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “Beat the Street is a fun game that brings whole communities together. It encourages families to get involved in active travel and we hope these changes will continue long after the game has finished.”

In 2016, the seven-week game saw local people join in with Beat the Street, walking and cycling 100,000 miles – more than 700 times the length of the Grand Union Canal. People living and working in Sandwell are being challenged to beat last year’s distance and go even further in 2017.

The game proved to be hugely popular for families in Sandwell such as the Martin family who said: “When we heard about 'Beat the Street' we thought as a family what a cracking idea to keep fit, shed a few excess pounds of weight, save a few pounds in money and get the kids up out of the house and away from gaming.

“We found ourselves constantly checking the leader boards on your website to see how our school was doing and this pushed us harder to achieve our goals when we saw how other schools worked together.”

Hall said: “Last year we saw thousands of people take part but I urge everyone living in Sandwell to pick up a card this February and get involved. Even small changes, over time, can make a real difference to your health, and help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease.”

Visit the website, or follow Beat the Street Sandwell on Facebook or on Twitter (@BTSSandwell) to find out more about the game

The National Charity Partnership is funding Beat the Street in Sandwell as part of its Let’s Do This campaign to help people improve their lifestyle and reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. To find out more visit www.lets-dothis.org.uk