New game inspires people of Northern Ireland to walk 70,000 miles

NI people have walked over 70,000 miles since the Beat The Street game started.
NI people have walked over 70,000 miles since the Beat The Street game started.

The people of Northern Ireland have walked more than 70,000 miles in just over three weeks thanks to a new game... and it isn’t Pokemon Go!

More than 30,000 people in the Province have walked, run, and cycled nearly 200 times the circumference of Northern Ireland in just over three weeks, as local active travel game ‘Beat the Street’ reaches its halfway point.

Running until November 2, Beat the Street is a giant physical activity initiative that aims to get thousands of people in Northern Ireland moving by turning Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey, and Holywood into components in giant game.

Hundreds of beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes have been placed across all four areas.

Residents are able to pick up cards and fobs which they can tap against Beat Boxes to track their journey, receive points, and win prizes.

More than 180 teams representing local schools, charities, community groups and businesses are competing against each other to see who can travel the furthest to win prizes of up to £1,000 worth of Decathlon vouchers.

Funded by the National Charity Partnership, a partnership between Diabetes UK, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Tesco, Beat the Street aims to help people get active and stay active.

Playing the game means that, in turn, people’s physical activity levels increases.

The idea is that beyond the six weeks participants will continue to adopt their new and healthier routine.

Jenna Hall, programme director for the National Charity Partnership, said: “We’re working to help millions of people eat better and be more active, to help lower their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. Beat the Street is helping us to get whole communities moving.”