You may have heard of Beat the Street which came to the greater Belfast area last autumn. It’s coming back again this year and LVO have formed a partnership with Beat the Street to encourage active participation with a grant from Active Belfast.
So what exactly is Beat the Street? It could be best described to an orienteer as a gigantic semi-permanent urban score course with electronic punching.
- Gigantic and Urban – The game area covers most of Belfast and stretches out to Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Holywood.
- Semi-permanent – As the controls are out for a 7 week period between Wednesday 13 September and Wednesday 1 November.
- Score course – With around 400 controls to be placed in the urban environment. You can start and finish at any control. That first control does not count, but every control you visit thereafter is worth 10 points.
- Electronic punching –Not using SI or Emit, but a credit card sized Beat the Street cards which are freely available from leisure centres, libraries and Tesco along with free Beat the Street maps. These will also be distributed to schools in the area and LVO will have a stock. The controls are about the size of a shoe box, mounted mostly on lampposts. When the card is touched against the control is beeps, or burps or makes another rude noise which kids love. The boxes are linked to the internet so that the visit is recorded on-line within seconds.
So how are LVO linking with Beat the Street?
- Beat the Street can of course be used for individual training. Last year Olivia and Susan set themselves a challenge to visit every control. They didn’t quite succeed however they only got started about half way through the game time last year.
- When you register your Beat the Street card you can select your school or organisation. LVO will be an organisation you can chose so your score is added to the club total to see how we fare in the league table.
- Beat the Street will promote the WEE Series and in turn as the WEE Series progresses we will promote Beat the Street.
- During the game time we will have informal score activities on Sunday afternoons from 17 September to 28 October starting at 3.00pm. These will start from a suitable point such as a café. We need organisers for these activities. This is a really simple role which requires hardly any orienteering experience. Simply chose a café in an area surrounded by controls, make sure the management are happy to host us, then give a friendly briefing before everyone sets off in a mass start. Initially we will use the Beat the Street maps, but towards the end of the time we would like to use orienteering maps with the Beat the Street controls marked.
- Then from Sunday 5 November we plan to continue with the momentum built up. We hope to use urban orienteering maps with a similar score format. At Lisburn on 26 July, Graeme Francis has demonstrated an easy way to have an urban score activity without using SI, but having a simple multiple choice answer at each control site. Eg what is the number on the lamppost: 12, 16 or 24? We have been awarded a grant for additional urban mapping and coaching to supplement our existing map of Belfast with a team currently working on an area of North Belfast, soon to move to cover an area of East Belfast.
The Beat the Street website is https://www.beatthestreet.me/ni which will go live closer to the time.