Beat The Street praised in Parliament
Beat The Street in Dumfries and Galloway has been hailed as a way forward for Holyrood to improve health through walking and cycling.
South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth told ministers in Edinburgh this week that it was “a fantastic initiative” and has “prompted a significant increase in cycling and walking in towns across the region.”
Mr Smyth was involved in the scheme when he chaired the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee as a councillor.
It was organised by Intelligence Health for the council and has taken place in Annan, Dalbeattie, Stranraer and Dumfries to much acclaim by 17,000 residents who got behind it, clocking up miles and points as they tapped beatboxes.
The participation rate of nearly 40 per cent of the population in Annan remains the highest percentage to have played anywhere in the world.
People clocked up 174,000 miles together playing Beat the Street in Dumfries recently.
The six-week health walking, running and cycling challenge smashed the target by 44,000 miles and had an amazing 90,000 people of all ages taking part in 93 teams.
Mr Smyth told Scottish ministers it was “a clear example of the benefits of creative and locally led interventions.
He said: “I whole-heartedly commend the scheme and I hope that it will be rolled out in other communities as a result of the increase in active travel funding.”
Speaking after the debate the MSP added: “Beat the Street was a huge success in Dumfries and Galloway and increased the number of people in our region participating in walking running and cycling.
“The impact of basic physical activity on both mental and physical health is significant. The statistics speak for themselves with a huge number of people across the region taking part and I hope the Government will support the scheme being rolled out to other towns and villages so we can build on this success.”
The team with the most points overall was Heathhall Primary School.
Taking part All ages joined in Dumfries Beat The Street with pupils leading the way