The winners of Wolverhampton’s unique walking, cycling and running challenge, Beat the Street, raced to Molineux Stadium to collect their prizes at a special awards ceremony. Thousands of residents young and old took part in the seven-week game, clocking up a fantastic total of 196,395 miles – that's the equivalent of 393 million steps, or burning around 20 million calories.
Beat the Street was launched on 24 February and took Wolverhampton by storm with over 27,000 people collecting their Beat the Street game cards and swiping the 200 Beat Boxes around the city, collecting points and miles in the process.
Prizes were on offer to the best performing teams, with local schools walking off with the honours at the ceremony at Molineux Stadium.
Dovecotes Primary School scooped £1,000 worth of Decathlon sports vouchers, coming first in the total score category with an incredible 414,580 points and travelling more than 19,000 miles, closely followed by St Luke's CE School and D’Eyncourt Primary School who won £500 and £250 in vouchers after coming second and third overall with 316,800 and 231,000 points respectively.
Prizes were also awarded to the teams which scored the highest points per player, with a team representing the City Economy department at the City of Wolverhampton Council coming top with 2,145 points per player.
They generously agreed to donate their £1,000 prize to a range of good causes, with £150 each going to Wildside Activity Centre, Wolverhampton Bikeshed, Wolverhampton parkrun and Wolverhampton junior parkrun, and the Mayor of Wolverhampton’s chosen charities, and £250 to Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club.
Wolverhampton’s Walking for Health Group, who came second overall, scooped £500, while TLC College and Nursery came third and collected £250.
Other winners included the highest individual tappers, Steve Poole, Eileen McKen and Simon Hillman. Special mention was made to the 12th Wolverhampton Scout Group who topped the average points leaderboard.
Meanwhile, a host of spot prizes were also won by individuals who swiped designated Beat Boxes around the city at various points during the challenge, from Decathlon vouchers to Grand Theatre tickets, gym passes from WV Active, fruit and vegetable hampers from the city's markets and even an executive box for a forthcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers match.
Dovecotes Primary School PE coordinator Ben Evans said: “Everyone associated with Dovecotes has thoroughly enjoyed the Beat the Street experience.”
Beat the Street was launched by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Health team as part of its Call to Action to tackle the obesity problem facing the city. Director of Public Health Ros Jervis said: "I'd like to say a big well done to each and every person who has taken part in Beat the Street.
"The numbers are truly staggering – not only did Wolverhampton collectively complete 196,395 miles, but we also saw a total of 27,727 people took part, swiping Beat Boxes an incredible 820,821 times. The most popular box, on Dudley Street in the city centre, was swiped more than 14,000 times alone. We also had more than 100 teams playing along, including 78 schools.”
Clare Williams, Project Engagement Manager for Beat the Street Wolverhampton, said: “Beat the Street has really brought the community together with the goal of getting outside and walking.
“As well as the health benefits, we’ve heard stories about people who have discovered new parts of the city and we’d like to congratulate everyone who took part. Well done for taking positive steps to get active.”
The 196,395 miles will now be added to the ongoing Million Miles for Wolverhampton Challenge, which calls on the city to collectively walk, cycle or run a million miles. People are encouraged to add any miles they complete to an online totalliser available at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/wecantw8.
Ros added: “It's fair to say the competition has been the talk of the city for the past few weeks, and we’ve heard from many people who are sad it is now over.
“I'd urge everyone who has enjoyed playing along to please keep up the good work and continue to build on the great improvements they will have made to their health by taking part in our continuing Million Miles for Wolverhampton Challenge."