Heanor set to be transformed into a giant game

Posted by: Laura O'Neil

Tue 22nd March 2022

An innovative physical activity game that has engaged more than a million people has launched in Heanor.

The Beat the Street game will take place in Heanor, and the surrounding areas of Langley Mill, Loscoe and Marlpool, from Wednesday, March 16 to Wednesday, April 13, thanks to a National Lottery grant from Sport England.

Beat the Street Heanor is run by Get Out Get Active Amber Valley and Active Derbyshire, funded by Get Out Get Active, Derbyshire Public Health and the National Lottery via Sport England, and managed by Intelligent Health.

The greater Heanor area is the latest area of Derbyshire to take part in the free scheme, after it was previously held in Chesterfield, Clay Cross and Derby, with more than 30,000 participants involved.

Beat the Street encourages people to get outside and to get active and is open to anyone of any age who would like to take part.

The game works by turning the town into a real-life game and residents will soon start to see special sensors called Beat Boxes appearing on lampposts around the area.

Prior to the game, primary school pupils from participating schools will be provided with fobs and maps, while parents and teachers will also receive a fob from the school so they can accompany children.

The wider community can pick up a free contactless fob and a map from William Gregg VC Leisure Centre, Heanor Library or Blend Youth Project in Heanor from Monday, March 7.

Players can join a school or community team, or set up their own with a minimum of six players. Individual players then walk, run, cycle or scoot between any of the 36 Beat Boxes which are each spaced half a mile apart – hovering their fob as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score for their team.

If players visit two Beat Boxes within an hour they collect 10 points for each Beat Box, and then for every subsequent box they visit they score another 10 points, as long as no more than an hour passes between each box.

Teams will compete on online leaderboards during the four-week game, to be in with a chance of winning a range of prizes.

Amazon vouchers will be awarded for individual, school, community and charity leaderboards along with spot prizes throughout the game.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Mayor, Councillor David Taylor, who launched the event, said: “This is more good news for Heanor, following news of regeneration of the town centre.

“I urge as many people as possible to get out and Beat The Street.”

Beat the Street was created by GP Dr William Bird MBE, an expert in physical activity and the founder of Intelligent Health.

Beat the Street has not only had a significant impact on increasing low levels of physical activity amongst adults and children, but also helps reduce congestion, improves air quality, and helps families spend time in green spaces together.

It has been adapted to ensure that it’s safe to play during the COVID-19 pandemic with contactless cards and fobs.

Matt Parr, Get Out Get Active Development Officer at Amber Valley Borough Council, said: “We are incredibly excited to be bringing Beat the Street to Heanor.

“We know that one of the best things people can do right now for their physical and mental health is to move more and to get out into green space where possible, and Beat the Street really helps people do just that in a safe way.

“It’s free to take part in Beat the Street and it’s open to everyone regardless of age, ability or background.

“It’s an inclusive game that encourages people to be active from their front door and to clock up the miles within the game framework.”

According to research, one in four people in England does less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, which classes them as inactive. Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day.

The National Lottery funding from Sport England will not only help people in Heanor to get active, but also to leave a positive legacy to improve the community’s health and wellbeing.

For more information on updates on the game, please visit www.beatthestreet.me/heanor from March 16 or follow @GOGAambervalley on social media.

Photo credit – Amber Valley borough council