Beat The Street praised in Par­lia­ment

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - DISTRICT NEWS -

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

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