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Impact: Berkshire Orienteers and Beat the Streets

Written by John Methven, Berkshire Orienteers.

Berkshire Orienteers had the opportunity to collaborate with Beat the Street in the West Reading area for 6 weeks during September and October this year. More than 6,500 players took part covering nearly 80,000 miles between them. 

Berkshire Orienteers worked with Beat The Street to provide a free MapRun activity in Prospect Park Reading towards the end of the six weeks. In addition, Berkshire Orienteers have provided a legacy MapRun score style event using the former Beat Box locations to encourage participants to continue their active journey. 

What impact did Beat the Street have on Berkshire Orienteers? 

Beat the Street has offered a fantastic opportunity to bring people, especially families, from the West Reading area into orienteering as an outdoor activity and hopefully as a sport if they get into it and start joining local and regional events. The Beat the Street game and orienteering have a lot in common: visiting control sites by using a map to find them and also visiting the sites in the shortest time possible. It was brilliant to link Beat the Street with the British Orienteering Find Your Way project which has similar aims nationally to encourage people (especially living in urban areas) to take up outdoor activities. 

Our courses on Prospect Park have taken the activity off the streets and into the fields and woods of the park. This is a stepping stone towards orienteering in the many forests surrounding Reading and also into wilder areas.   

Images below: Participants get stuck into the orienteering activity made available by Berkshire Orienteers who worked in collaboration with Beat the Street/Intelligent Health. They were encouraged to take a selfie and take part in the MapRun competition where they could win a £25 voucher. 

How did collaborating together with Beat the Street and Intelligent Health go? 

Chloe and Jenny were really helpful and had lots of excellent ideas on how we could work together. Also, it is exciting following the celebration event at the end of the Beat the Street - Reading West game to use our virtual orienteering courses as a way to continue the legacy of the BTS game for the next 6 months and beyond. We are creating a new virtual orienteering course where there are 60 controls matching the former Beat Box locations. People will be able to compete via the MapRun app in visiting as many of these controls as they can in an hour – their time will be uploaded to a leader board of results, hopefully promoting many attempts from the BTS participants. 

More information about Beat the Street is available online