Eight students from Hammersmith & Fulham's Brackenbury Primary School stand around a lamppost with a Beep Box, a device used to record points in the Beat The Street exercise challenge

Hammersmith & Fulham residents take part in exercise challenge

An exercise challenge encouraging its 7000 participants to walk, cycle, and wheel through Hammersmith & Fulham launched this week.

The Beat The Street challenge, where players compete to travel throughout the borough began at Ravenscourt Park on Wednesday 28 February.

Chloe Allison, Beat The Street’s engagement coordinator, said the aim to get people moving and reduce health inequalities by promoting free ways stay healthy.

Allison said: “It’s for your own health and happiness—but also, you can win prizes for it.

“It’s addictive checking how many sign-ups there are. It does just skyrocket.”

Beat The Street aims to have all pupils from the borough’s primary and special education needs schools compete, but adults are also participating.

The challenge was established 10 years ago by GP William Bird, who received an MBE in in 2010 for services to healthcare and physical activity.

It is delivered by Bird’s company Intelligent Health, in partnership with H&F Council, and is funded by the Council and the National Lottery.

Hammersmith & Fulham councillor Alex Sanderson said: “We’re delighted that the game will give everyone of ages and abilities the opportunity to explore the local area, to spend time together as a family and to enjoy walking, cycling and rolling outdoors.”

Councillor Bora Kwon also spoke at Wednesday’s launch event, addressing an audience which included 12 Years 1-6 students from Brackenbury Primary School.

Sophie Manser, a Year 4 teacher and Geography lead at Brackenbury, said encouraging students to not travel by car benefits their wellbeing and could ease London’s traffic congestion.

Manser says that some pupils were so keen to collect points they arrived late to school.

She said: “They’re buzzing, they’re so excited.”

According to Beat The Street’s website, 58 Hammersmith & Fulham schools are participating in this exercise challenge.

Huw May, headmaster of Kensington Wade School, said pupils are planning new routes to school, on foot or scooter, to increase their game score.

According to May, the students of Melcombe Primary School, which shares a site with Kensington Wade, are also taking part enthusiastically.

May said: “It’s good to get them active and exploring the area.

“We’re all involved and wondering what the prize is.”

May and other school staff members are also competing, and he says that some parents are also becoming competitive over the game.

Beat The Street challenges have been played by more than 1.8m people in 168 locations in the UK and beyond.

Seven other challenges are currently ongoing, in locations ranging from Harwich & Dovercourt, Essex, to Falkirk West, Scotland.

The challenge concludes on 10 April.

Photo credit: Graham Fudger

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