Innovative physical activity initiative kicks off in Dublin, Waterford and Limerick

An innovative physical activity initiative that encourages whole communities to get moving by transforming towns and cities into a giant game was launched in Dublin, Waterford and Limerick today.

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 Wednesday 13 September to Wednesday 1 November, Beat the Street will see schools, businesses, families and charities in Waterford, Dublin and Limerick 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.

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 & County Council and Waterford City & County Council. The aim of the initiative is to encourage thousands of people to explore their local area with their friends and family and discover something new about their local area.

At a launch events held today in Waterford, Limerick and Dublin, local stakeholders, schools, community groups and dignitaries such as the Minister of State for Health Promotion, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Mayor of Waterford City and County and the Mayor of Limerick City and County came together to celebrate the launch of the initiatives.

Speaking about the initiative, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland: “One of Sport Ireland’s key strategic aims is the increase in participation in physical activity across all ages and backgrounds. 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. Through the Dormant Accounts Fund, Sport Ireland is delighted to invest in this programme which will provide opportunities for more people to engage in physical activity more often.”

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 Ireland for the first time ever.

Dr William Bird, a family doctor and creator of Beat the Street: “We all know that we should be physically active, but getting people to go outdoors and start moving can be a challenge. 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 Ireland for the first time.”

To find out more information about Beat the Street including where to pick up a Beat the Street card and map, visit www.beatthestreet.me/Waterford, www.beatthestreet.me/limerick and www.beatthestreet.me/Dublin.