A popular physical activity game that has been played by more than 1.2m people is coming to Leicester for six weeks in May and June.

Beat the Street is a free, interactive challenge that encourages people of all ages to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by turning the area into a six-week game. The game has previously been twice played in Blaby district and also has taken place in the west and north west of the city in 2019, but this time will take place across the whole of Leicester.

Beat the Street Leicester takes place from Wednesday, 26th May to 7th July. It is an outdoor game and is completely contactless. It’s free to take part and open to anyone of any age or ability.  Players take part in their family groups or support bubbles and are encouraged to walk, cycle, run, wheel or scoot as far as possible within the local area, with prizes for the teams that clock up the highest number of miles.

Beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes will be placed on lampposts around the area for the duration of the six-week game. Primary school pupils should receive a pack via school containing a fob, a card for an adult to play, and a map. The wider community can pick up a card from one of the distribution centres that will be announced shortly at

When the game launches, players form virtual teams, then walk, run, roll, scoot or cycle between the Beat Boxes scoring points with their fobs or cards as they go. The more Beat Boxes on your journey, the more points you score for their community or school team. Players can also help a chosen charity by joining their team. Each week is themed with different activities to help participants get the most out of their Beat the Street experience.

Beat the Street was created by Dr William Bird who realised that many health conditions could be improved if people were encouraged to go out for a walk in a green space. It has been played in more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and beyond, including Barnsley who played in 2019 where more than 25,000 people signed up and together travelled 144,810 miles, as well as Chesterfield who played in 2020; their 13,800 players travelled 143,132 miles.

Beat the Street is an outdoor game so safe to play, plus the sensors have recently been adapted to make them more sensitive so it is completely contactless. Players can take part in family groups of their bubbles and simply hover their card or fob near the sensor and it will register. The first Beat Box registers your journey; you can then score 10 points if you visit any other Beat Box within an hour.

As well as encouraging people to get active, Beat the Street has been shown to get communities more engaged, less car-dependent and fitter which is vital in the fight against COVID-19.

Beat the Street is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by the National Lottery on behalf of Sport England, Leicester City Council, and the Canal and River Trust.

Cllr Vi Dempster, Leicester City Council assistant city mayor and lead member for health added: “We know that the past year has been difficult for the whole of the UK, but the people of Leicester really have had a tough year under lockdown. The Beat the Street game is a really positive initiative that will enable people to get outdoors and exercising safely together. Exercise and socialising (at a distance) has proven benefits not only for physical health but for mental health and wellbeing too.”

Prof Ivan Browne, Leicester’s director of Public Health said: “Parts of Leicester have previously played Beat the Street and it has had a remarkable impact on activity levels, congestion and air quality.

“The COVID pandemic has shown how important it is to ensure that we adopt healthy lifestyle habits around incorporating physical activity into our days and trying to travel in more active ways by walking or cycling. The game rewards people for exploring the local area on foot or by bike and is provides a safe way of helping people get outdoors. As the national roadmap seeks to ease us out of restrictive living we want to help people in the city to gradually increase their activity levels and reacquaint themselves with their surroundings in a safe and enjoyable way.”

Phil Mulligan, regional director for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Beat the Street Leicester as it’s a fun and inclusive way of encouraging local people to explore their green and blue spaces.

“With ever increasing rates of obesity, stress and declining mental health in the UK, we are uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to improving the wellbeing of millions of people. Our canals and rivers run through some of the most heavily populated communities in Leicester, providing accessible waterways where it’s needed the most.”

“Our research shows that spending time by water, whether it’s on a lunchbreak, daily commute or just a weekend stroll, really can make us feel happier and healthier.”

For more details on how to take part, please visit or search for BTS Leicester on social media.
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