Get out there and join 60,000 Sheffield people to Beat the Street - and boost your health

There’s still time to get involved in the Beat the Street challenge taking place in Sheffield, alongside 60,000 people!

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 4:41 pm
Beat the Street in High Hazels Park with Jo Maher and Jimi Sayoosh
Beat the Street in High Hazels Park with Jo Maher and Jimi Sayoosh

More than 59,223 people have signed up to play the Beat the Street Sheffield game and have walked, cycled, and rolled an incredible 363,000 miles so far in the competition.

Anyone of any age is invited to take part and you can still get involved now by picking up a card from one of the distribution points on www.beatthestreet.me/sheffield. You can join an existing school, community group or workplace team or set up your own.

Alternatively, you can join the charity team to help Sheffield Children’s Hospital benefit from a £500 donation.

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Pupils from the Oasis Academy in Attercliffe take part in the opening event for Beat the Street in Sheffield

Teams including schools, community groups and workplaces have been battling it out for several weeks across the leader boards to take home prizes of vouchers for books. There are also prizes for individuals and ‘lucky spot’ prizes.

Marlcliffe Primary School in Hillsborough top the total points leader board - their 765 players have 355,000 points.

Elsewhere, the city's health experts have been using the Beat the Street game to tour health centres, hospitals and community groups to spread the word about the importance of physical activity.

One key strength of Beat the Street is that it is free and accessible. In Sheffield, 37% of the players who completed a pre-game health survey are from the areas with the highest deprivation.

Dr Anna Lowe from Move More, who was key in commissioning the game for Sheffield, said: “We worked with partners to bring Beat the Street to Sheffield because we know that mass participation events are a great way of capturing people’s imagination which enables conversations about physical activity.

"We’ve done this before in June for Move More Month with events like the hopscotch world record. It’s not always the event itself but the process of bringing people together creates a legacy of engagement in physical activity that lasts well after the event.”

Dr Andy Douglas, a Move More GP at Birley Health Centre, has recommended Beat the Street to patients for help in dealing with depression.

He said: "My colleagues and I have been speaking to lots of patients who since the pandemic have experienced the effects of lockdown: isolation, inactivity, financial difficulties and stress. These conditions have led to a huge surge in the number of people feeling down and depressed.

"In my experience I have found medication, such as anti-depressants, can be quite limited in what they can offer, especially under these conditions. One of the most effective ways people can improve their mental health is through becoming more physically active.

“However, it can be hard as a GP just to tell someone to exercise more. What can work better is if the patient has heard of an activity that is local to them, sounds achievable, and maybe quite good fun. That's where Beat the Street ticks a lot of boxes.

"I have had a lot of people respond positively to the idea. Especially when we explain that physical activity can be equally as effective as antidepressants at treating depression. I have heard from people playing Beat the Street that it has got them out the house, finding areas near them that had never explored before; often finding themselves chatting with new people over a Beat Box.”