Reading is about to embark on a unique challenge to get the whole community more active on a journey which will take us to the moon.
Beat the Street is a real world walking and cycling game designed to increase physical activity levels and will take place from 1 May to 4 June 2014.
Funded by the NHS South and North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Groups to promote healthier lifestyles, the project is also supported by Reading Borough Council.
The overall target is to engage at least 36,000 residents in Beat the Street and walk collectively the equivalent of 238,857 miles; the distance from Reading to the moon.
Dr Rod Smith, Chair of North & West Reading CCG, explains: 'The scheme is building on the success of a pilot in Caversham, which we now want to roll out across Reading with an aim of getting 60,000 children and inactive adults to take part.'
We know that walking half an hour a day five days a week has major health benefits. It can reduce the risks of developing and the health of those who already have heart disease, diabetes, cancers, dementia, depression, anxiety and prolong active life. The precise risks can be seen on this excellent you-tube video - "23 and a half hours"
'This means that, through GPs, schools and community groups, the " Live Active" scheme will encourage many more people to take up walking and cycling, resulting in life-long positive habits, which will have a long term health benefit.'
To play, residents pick up a Beat the Street card from a local GP practice, Reading museum, local library or Reading Borough Council Leisure Centre from 22 April.
The card activates when tapped against a Beat Box from 1 May, tapping another within the hour records the journey. There will 130 Beat boxes placed on lamp posts across Reading.
Beat Boxes will be placed throughout the town from Whitley to Caversham, the Town Centre to Tilehurst, East to West Reading.
Players can win prizes for themselves and their community team by using their Beat the Street cards. They are able to monitor their progress via a secure website: http://reading.beatthestreet.me .
The five teams that earn the most points wins an overall cash prize (compiled on average scores rather than largest number of entrants) and helps Reading reach for the moon!
Every day there will be a winner with a lucky tap who will win a great prize from a local company from Reading festival tickets, Reading FC goodies and more.
25 primary schools are already signed up and community groups are joining in the fun. Reading businesses are supporting the campaign from Reading BID, the Oracle and the Broad Street Mall to Reading Buses.