More than 5,000 people signed up even before the launch of a fun, free game for the community of Rotherham to see how far players can walk, run or cycle around our area.
Beat the Street is being delivered by Intelligent Health and is funded by the National Lottery on behalf of Sport England and Rotherham Council’s grant funding allocation from DfT’s Sustainable Transport Access Fund.
The game’s two engagement co-ordinators are Nadeem Shan and Ivy Dorchester-Brown who are well-known locally for their commitment to physical activity and they both bring with them a love of sport and community. Nadeem and Ivy have known each other since Ivy was Nadeem’s PE teacher at school.
Nadeem has worked in the sport and community sector for the last ten years and is the chair of Masbrough Community Group whose aim is to increase physical participation within underrepresented groups.
Nadeem said: “The whole ethos of this initiative is fascinating, and I am a huge advocate of keeping fit and increasing physical participation which Beat the Street provides through a brilliant and fun game. Rotherham needs something like this, and in this current climate, families and individuals need this. My expertise is working with communities and increasing wellbeing, and this role helps me do that.
“The whole purpose is to get people moving, and I think if we can get people off the couch and get them walking and taking part then that’s the key. We know through science that exercise is essential for mental health too.”
Ivy has decades of experience in the physical activity sector including as Head of PE in a special school and then became a PE consultant working for Yorkshire Sport Foundation. She has coached South Yorkshire U16 and U18 Hockey teams for more than 25 years and has herself played hockey for 40 years.
Ivy (pictured, left) said: “I was attracted to Beat the Street because it is a lovely initiative that everyone can get involved in. You don’t need to buy any specialist equipment to take part in it; it is totally inclusive and being outside is such a massive benefit to mental health and wellbeing, especially in these unprecedented times.
“I am hoping this will help more people in Rotherham become active, especially those who aren’t already very active.”
Rotherham Director of Public Health Ben Anderson said: “We are hoping to see as many people as possible getting involved either through their school, community group or as a family. This is a really fun and safe way for people to exercise outdoors and to develop healthy lifestyle habits. Of course it is still important that we follow the current restrictions as we engage in the game.”
You can join the game here.
Images: Intelligent Health