Race to ‘space’ in county’s Beat the Street challenge

Beat The Street launch at Maple Grove School.
Beat The Street launch at Maple Grove School.

Residents are being invited to walk and cycle their way to ‘space’ in a game to promote healthier lifestyles.

Hemel Hempstead’s Beat the Street challenge, officially launched at Maple Grove Primary School, is a six-week walking and cycling challenge in which residents can collect points for the number of miles they travel, and takes places from June 3 until July 15.

The launch was attended by representatives from Hertfordshire County Council, the Mayor of Hemel Hempstead and children from the school.

Funded by Hertfordshire County Council, anyone can take part and a share of a £10,000 prize pot is up for grabs for the teams that travel the furthest. Spot prizes donated by local businesses and organisations will be available to individuals throughout the competition.

Cabinet member for public health, localism and libraries, Teresa Heritage, said: “Beat the Street is a fun way to promote healthier lifestyles for the whole family. It’s an exciting and fun initiative that will really foster a community spirit whilst also encouraging residents of Hemel Hempstead of all ages to get more active.”

Allan Lawson, out-going mayor of Hemel Hempstead attended the event as his last engagement in the role.

He said: “Anything that helps improve physical activity, I’m all in favour of. Beat the Street is a brilliant way of encouraging people from across the community to get active.”

Geoff Allen, headteacher of Maple Grove Primary School added: “Beat the Street is a great idea and will get children out exploring the local area, walking more and socialising with their peers as they do it. It’s an innovative way of incorporating technology into physical activity.”

Nine-year-old Libby from year 4, a member of the school council, said: “Beat the Street is good fun and encourages everyone to do more exercise.”

The ultimate aim is to clock up enough miles to get to space; if Hertfordshire’s four teams - Hemel Hempstead, Watford, Stevenage and Broxbourne - collectively travel more than 500,000 miles, a £1,000 donation will be made to a nominated charity in each area.

Players are issued with a special card which can then be ‘tapped’ against sensors called ‘beat boxes’, which will be placed on lamp posts across the town. Residents can collect the cards from libraries and a number of leisure centres and GP practices.

The boxes flash and beep to recognise the card. By tapping the card against a box at the start of the journey and another at the end, points for the distance travelled are recorded on the card. These go towards the individual’s total, the team total and the overall ‘race to space’ challenge total and put that person in the running for great prizes. Players can monitor their progress via a secure website at


Community groups and residents interested in taking part in Beat the Street can email team.herts@beatthestreet.me for more information.