Thousands of people have been pounding the pavements over the past seven weeks taking part in Beat the Street.
The initiative transformed East Sussex into a giant walking, running and cycling game – with residents racing around their local neighbourhood and tapping special Beat Boxes on lampposts becoming a familiar sight across the county.
Tens of thousands of residents took part in this mass participation health improvement event designed to get people active in their community. Local schools, workplaces and community groups created teams and competed against each other to see who could travel the furthest to win some fantastic prizes.
After weeks of competing throughout towns across East Sussex, Sandown Primary, in Hastings, took second place on the leader board, only being beaten by Harbour Primary and Nursery School in Newhaven. Grovelands Community School in Hailsham came third.
The three teams that had the highest average distance per person were local business Savoir Faire Accounting, Eastbourne Rovers athletic club and Hastings Voluntary Action’s Team Wellfit project.
The winning teams will be presented with their first, second and third place prizes of £500, £350 and £100’s worth of sports vouchers respectively at celebration events taking place this September.
In addition to the team prizes, three individuals from East Sussex have been awarded £300’s worth of sports vouchers for being the player who walked and cycled the furthest in one of three areas of game play. The top player in Hastings and Rother was Tony May, who travelled an incredible 463 miles in seven weeks.
Tony May said: “Beat the Street gave me a fun, active purpose and I miss not having points to score every day. I’ve seen lots of benefits in taking part including losing 7-8 lbs in just seven weeks. It’s amazing to have won the top tapper in my area. I loved playing Beat the Street and will be determined to defend my crown if the game returns to East Sussex again!”
Beat the Street has been funded by NHS Hastings and Rother CCG, NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG and East Sussex Public Health. It forms part of a comprehensive programme of activity to improve health through East Sussex Better Together; and as part of the Connecting 4 You in the west of the county.
The competition was delivered by Intelligent Health, a specialist organisation dedicated to increasing physical activity and improving the health of communities around the world. The next phase of Beat the Street will inspire players to keep active by taking part in the range of activities available in local communities.
Dr David Warden, chair of NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Congratulations to each and every person who has taken part in Beat the Street. The competition has very much been the talk of towns across the area for the past few weeks; it’s really captured the interest of local residents.”
Victoria Spencer-Hughes, Consultant in Public Health, said: “Beat the Street has been an excellent catalyst for getting local communities across East Sussex moving. The mass participation that’s been achieved goes to show that it’s all about taking part – you don’t have to be super fit to take steps to get healthy and active.
Players are encouraged to keep hold of their cards as the organisers of the seven-week initiative will now be encouraging residents to stay active through further events and initiatives in the coming months. Follow @BTSEastSussex on Twitter or ‘Beat the Street East Sussex’ on Facebook for more information about upcoming events.