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Oliver with his Beat the Street card

The Beat the Street physical activity game is coming to Islington!

Beat the Street Islington is set to take place from Wednesday, 23rd March to Wednesday, 4th May.

Beat the Street is a fun game that has been designed by a GP, Dr William Bird, to get communities moving. The idea is that by introducing a competitive element to exercise, communities can make small lifestyle changes, such as walking or cycling to school or work every day, to improve health and help embed physical activity into everyday life.

So far more than 1.5 million people and 4,000 schools have taken part in games across the UK and beyond. Players are asked about their levels of physical activity before and after the game, and typically, 70% of less-active adults (those who do less than the chief medical officer's recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

As well as its significant impact on increasing low levels of physical activity amongst adults and children, Beat the Street also helps reduce congestion, improves air quality, and helps families spend time in green spaces together. Players also report getting to know their community better, even if they have lived there for years.

The game also helps improve mental health and encourages people to spend time moving. The game takes place outdoors and cards are contactless.

It is free to take part and open to anyone of any age or ability. Prior to the start of the game, children at participating primary schools will be given a player pack and two cards (one for an accompanying adult). The wider community can pick up a free card and maps from one of the distribution points listed on the Beat the Street Islington website

Once the game begins on 23rd March, players join teams and then can score points by walking, cycling and rolling as far as possible between the 80 special sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’ that will be placed around the area. Check out the online or printed map to find your nearest Beat Box and hover your card or fob over it. Then walk, cycle or wheel to the next nearest Beat Box within an hour to score 10 points. Then keep going!

There are prizes worth hundreds of pounds in sports equipment or book vouchers for the school, community and three selected charity teams (The Freightliners Farm, The Garden Classroom and Access to Sports) that walk, cycle and roll the furthest, and there are lots of opportunities to win lucky prizes throughout the six-week competition.

There are Beat the Street games currently taking place in Stockton-on-Tees, East Renfrewshire and also Redcar and Cleveland, plus smaller games.

Previous games have taken place in Sheffield, which attracted 60,000 players, and Leicester where 45,000+ people played.

A previous participant said: "Just want to say a HUGE thank you! I’m a teacher and the kids are absolutely obsessed with Beat the Street! I have never seen anything motivate them to get moving so much! They have so much school pride, and the team ethos around school is lovely. What a brilliant idea and such a lovely boost for the kids who have had such a challenging year. Thank you for everything!"

Beat the Street Islington has been commissioned by Islington Council with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

Councillor Rowena Champion, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re committed to making Islington a cleaner, greener, healthier place for all, free from air pollution and road danger, with streets that everyone can use and enjoy.

“Encouraging local people to travel around our borough by walking, wheeling and cycling is a really important part of this, and that’s why we’ve helped bring the exciting Beat the Street initiative to Islington.

“Beat the Street is part of a package of measures designed to open up our streets as a place to socialise, exercise and play, while enabling local people to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of active travel.

“Whether it’s our leading programme of School Streets cutting congestion at the school gate, our commitment to greening the borough with thousands of new trees, or our work to make Islington’s pavements and footways more open and accessible, we’re determined make our streets places that everyone can use and enjoy while reducing pollution and tackling the climate crisis.

“Beat the Street provides a brilliant incentive to walk, wheel and cycle around the borough while seeing everything Islington has to offer. The game is open to all, so pick up a card, join a team and get tapping!”

Jonathan O’Sullivan, Director of Public Health at Islington Council, said: “Beat the Street is a fun way to do two things that are good for your health and wellbeing - being physically active and getting out and about and exploring green spaces! The game is free of charge, open to everyone regardless of age, ability or background. We hope lots of people will get to enjoy Beat the Street when it kicks off on March 23rd.”

More information will be shortly available at and on social media at @BTSIslington


Notes to editor:

Journalists are invited to the launch event on Monday 14 March from 2pm - 3pm at Caledonian Park, Market Rd, London, N7 9PL where Dr Bird will talk briefly about the impact of the game and will show you how it works!
Please RSVP to

Beat the Street Islington is open to anyone of any age who would like to take part and takes place from Wednesday, 23rd March until Wednesday, 4th May.
Beat the Street Islington has been commissioned by Islington Council with support from the National Lottery via Sport England. It is being delivered by Intelligent Health.

For more information - including where to collect a free game card and map – visit and on social media at @BTSIslington

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