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Frequently Asked Questions

Beat the Street is a real life walking, cycling and running game for a whole community, which runs from - . Beat the Street Northampton has been commissioned by the National Lottery via Sport England and it is delivered by Intelligent Health.

Played outdoors in the local community, Beat the Street is the perfect way to get you and your family back into action, off screens and out of the house, having fun and exercising together.

Being physically active improves physical and mental health and boosts our body’s natural immunity to fight off viruses, including coronavirus.

Score points and win prizes by walking, cycling or running from point to point and swiping a registered Beat the Street card or fob at contactless sensors (Beat Boxes) which are placed on lamp posts across Northampton. Check out the map to see where you can play!

There are fantastic prizes on offer for individuals and teams on our leaderboards for schools and community groups & workplaces! School teams are able to win prizes of up to £300 of sport or book vouchers on each leaderboard while community teams will be eligible to win up to £300 worth of sports and fitness vouchers. Visit the leaderboard page for more information. Registered players are eligible to win a ‘Lucky Box' prize by swiping their card/fob at a Beat Box throughout the game. Register online by creating a Beat the Street account on this web and connecting your card or fob to the account, once you've collected yours.

How does the game work?

Contactless sensors called Beat Boxes are placed on lamp posts around Northampton. Players walk, roll, run or cycle between Beat Boxes swiping a card or fob on the Beat Box to earn points as they explore their town.

Players record journeys and score points around in a bid to win prizes! Walk, cycle, wheel or run from point to point, swiping your dedicated Beat the Street card or fob at sensors (Beat Boxes) which are placed on lamp posts and other street furniture across the town.

To score 10 points, hover your card or fob in front of the Box for 2-5 seconds until the Box beeps and flashes. This starts your journey! Then walk, run or cycle to a different Beat Box within an hour and swipe it to complete the journey and earn 10 points for your team. There must be a time gap of at least 1 minute between swiping Beat Boxes, or the second box will not register points.

Keep going! You’ll score 10 points for every subsequent Beat Box you swipe, as long as you swipe the Box within an hour. You can go back to the same Box as much or as little as you like, just make sure you visit a different Beat Box in between. If more than one hour passes between swiping Beat Boxes, then the next Beat Box you swipe will act as the ‘start’ point. The process will begin again.

You can play as little or as much as you like, every journey counts! The Department of Health recommends 150 minutes of activity a week for adults. This works out as 30 minutes a day for five days a week. All children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day. Every time you swipe two or more Beat Boxes you help your health, add to your team’s points and the overall community challenge total. Every journey counts so see how far you can travel over the course of seven weeks!

How do I get started?

Children under 11 play with a fob and anyone aged 12 and above plays with a card. If you are playing with children, their school will provide them with a fob for them to use, a map, along with a parent information pack which includes a card for a parent or carer to play with. Participating schools begin distributing these to pupils in the week leading up to the game.

Adults can pick up a card to play from their local distribution point. Please ensure you follow the guidelines put in place by the local distribution point when going to collect material, and be aware that you may need to queue. When you've collected a card, just create an account online, connect your card to the account and get swiping.

Adults can help support a school team or join/set up a community team. This could be a team for your local club, workplace or even a big group of friends.

What measures are in place to make Beat the Street safe?

Beat the Street: Be Covid Safe

Beat the Street is low-risk, contactless and easy to play whilst maintaining social distancing. It is created by Intelligent Health, a team of physical health experts led by Dr William Bird, a GP working on the NHS frontline against Covid-19.Beat the Street is played outdoors individually, with your household or in small groups according to current COVID-19 guidelines.

• Beat the Street Beat Boxes are contactless so it’s a perfect way to exercise and have fun with friends outdoors

• Don’t touch cards/fobs belonging to others

• As always, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when you return home.

Where can I pick up a card?

Beat the Street is a game for all ages and anyone can take part. You can pick up a card from the following local distribution points from 19 September:

- Danes Camp Leisure Centre - NN4 0RX

- Lings Forum Leisure Centre - NN3 8JR

- Duston Sports Centre - NN5 6DP

- Mounts Bath Leisure Centre - NN1 3DN

- Berzerk - Moulten Park

- Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust - NN4 8AW

- Riverside Hub - NN3 9HG

- Daphne bus (NPH)

- Co-op Food - NN3 2HG

- St David's Church Rooms - NN2 7RD

- Sainsburys - NN5 5DG

- The One Stop Shop - NN1 1DE

- Morningside Pharmacy - NN2 8L

- Co-op Food - NN3 5DD

- Co-op - NN5 4UX

- Asda - NN2 6LS

- Parklands Community Centre - NN3 6DX

- Northamptonshire Central Library - NN1 2BA

- Wootton Community and Sports Centre - NN4 6ED

For the most up-to-date locations of distribution points please refer to the online map - click here to view. Please check opening times of these distribution points before going to pick up a card and follow the social distancing guidelines of each distribution point. You may need to queue to enter some of these distribution points so please be patient.

Schools will begin handing out materials to play from 9 September onwards.

Please ensure you do not punch a hole in the card, as this will damage the card and cause it not to work properly.

Where can I see the maps?

You can see the most up-to-date version of our map online here.

You can collect a print map from a local distribution point. Find your nearest here.

Alternatively you can download a print a version of the map.

How do I connect a card or fob to my account?

If you’ve received a fob from your school, you should have also received a card for a parent to play with. Remember, the card and fob are not linked to each other. The fob is intended for the child to use, and the card is for the parent.

Each individual card or fob will need its own separate account on our website.

Fobs come pre-assigned to the school team and do not need to be registered online in order to join the school team. However, to check your points and mileage and be in with a chance to win individual prizes, you will need to create an account and link your fob to it first.

Cards do need to be linked to your account first in order to join a team and to be in with a chance to win Lucky Box prizes. You will also then be able to monitor your performance online and see your journeys.

1 week before the game ends, you will no longer be able to link a card or fob to your account.

Will my username be made public?

Yes, everyone who creates an account will be added to the individual leaderboard. Please bear this in mind when creating your username. If you create a username using swearwords or inappropriate terms, your account will be removed.

Can I change my username?

No unfortunately we cannot change your username once it is set up.

How do I join a team?

When you link your card or fob, you will have a choice of teams. Look in the drop down list to find a type of team followed by the name of the team. Players can join any team, and everyone is invited! Get all of your friends and family involved, including brothers, sisters and grandparents.

If you don't join a team when you link your card or fob, you can do this by going to "Manage Account" via the menu and selecting your team.

How do I create a team?

If you would like to create your own team, please fill in the form below. A member of our team will be in touch to confirm your team has been set up. Please remember that you need to recruit at least 12 team members by 27 October to be eligible for leaderboard prizes. Players will not be able to change teams in the final week of the game.

Who can set up a team?

  • Workplace
  • Community Groups
  • Sports Teams
  • Clubs

Please note that families can not create teams, and should take part through the child's school team.

Note - Teams will have until 27 October to recruit a minimum of 12 participants. If you fail to do so by that date, your team can still take part and contribute to the town’s mileage but your team will not be eligible for the main leaderboard prizes. Your team will move from the main leaderboard to the Small Teams Leaderboard where you can compete for a trophy. You need at least 2 team members to move to that leaderboard.

Team Leaders, please note that unfortunately you will not be able to see who is in your team. This is not currently a feature we have on our website and due to GDPR, we can't share this information with you.

Can I join two teams?

No, unfortunately you can only play for one team.

I have a disability - can I play Beat the Street?

Yes! We welcome people of all ages and abilities to play Beat the Street. Disability should be no barrier to participation. If you are a wheelchair or mobility scooter user, please feel free to use these to get between Beat Boxes. Beat Boxes are placed approximately 500 – 600 metres apart and you have an hour to travel between two Boxes to earn your 10 points.

Visit our online map to plan your route. You can use our accessibility icons to see which Beat Boxes are accessible for wheelchair users and participants with mobility issues. If you need to take a break, why not use the map tool to plan your route and look for rest points.

If you have any questions about how you can take part, or you’d like any extra support please get in touch. Email team.northampton@beatthestreet.me

What does the person win who comes first on the Individual Leaderboard?

The winner of the individual leaderboard will receive a trophy to recognise their achievement.

Why are there children on the individual leaderboards?

Based on feedback from other games across the UK, we have introduced an individual leaderboard where players can see their individual progress and compare with other players in the community. Anyone who creates an account will have their username on the leaderboard. No other information is shared but we welcome your comments to improve this area.

Why haven't I received points?

There are many reasons why your swipe may be displaying as 0 points on your account. Here are a few reasons why this might be:

  • Points can be delayed in displaying on your account. Check again in a few hours and if they still haven't appeared, let us know. We need to know your card or your fob number to investigate as well as the Box numbers you visited at and the approximate times
  • You did not visit a different Beat Box within 1 hour
  • You did not leave 1 minute between visits
  • If it was the first swipe of your journey, you will always be awarded 0 points. You must then visit a different Beat Box to earn 10 points

Please note that if your swipe has not been recognised on a Box, or the Box was not working at the time of your swipe, we are unable to award those missing points to you.

The 100 point bonus for completing the health survey can take a few days to appear in your account.

If you are still unsure, please email team.northampton@beatthestreet.me

Why can’t me/my child see how many points I have on my card/fob without creating an account?

This is a feature which we hope will encourage people to create an account giving them a better experience of the game, a chance to use our new features and be in for a chance to win prizes.

People who complete the health profile section will earn 100 points as a thank you. The 100 point bonus can take up to 24 hours to appear in your account.

You can only see the number of points on a card/fob when it has been linked to an account.

What do I do if the Beat Box isn't working?

If you notice that the Box doesn’t beep or flash after you’ve held your card against it for a few seconds, please let us know by emailing team.northampton@beatthestreet.me

Please note that if your swipe has not been recognised on a Box, or the Box was not working at the time of your swipe, we are unable to award those missing points to you.

What do I do if my card isn't working?

Check your online account to ensure that it isn’t working. Points are normally added to your account within the hour but sometimes there may be a delay – especially when everybody is out and about tapping! Also double check that you are logged in to the right account for that card - with whole families taking part it can be easy to mix up login information. If this all seems right and the problem continues email team.northampton@beatthestreet.me and a member of our team will assist you.

Due to the small surface area of the fobs, they can take up to 10 seconds to register on a Beat Box so please ensure you hold the fob in front of the Beat Box until there is a beep and flash.

Please ensure you do not punch a hole in the card, as this will damage the card and cause it not to work properly.

What do I do if I lose my card?

If you lose your card, you may collect a new one from a distribution point and you will need to start again.

Points are non-transferable across cards and your new card will need to be registered. The points from your lost card or fob will still count towards your team’s score.

If you are a pupil at a school, then your fob or card will be pre-assigned to automatically accumulate points for your school. If you are at school and you lose your card or fob, talk to your teacher. A small number of fobs may be available for replacements. Remember: only 1 card or fob per player!

What constitutes as cheating?

This is a fun competition about getting moving around your area – you can walk, run, cycle, rollerskate, scoot or skip. We want you to enjoy the competition and get the most out of it you can, so please don’t try to cheat the system – you’ve nothing to gain from doing so. It is against the rules to use a car or motorised vehicle to drive between Beat Boxes. Anyone found to be doing this, will have their points wiped.

E-bikes are allowed as part of Beat the Street as they do require the rider to pedal but e-scooters are not permitted. According to the government website, using privately owned e-scooters on public roads and pavements is currently against the law and could result in a fine. Some exceptions to this exist where trials are taking place but strict rules apply. Find out more on the government website. We will keep this under review as rules are updated.

Cheating also includes swiping more than one card per person or using someone else’s card or fob as well as your own. If we suspect players to have done any of these we will contact them directly. We also strongly advise you not to be sharing cards or fobs in order to maintain good hygiene practices in light of the Covid-19 virus.

Report any incidents of cheating you may see. If you see another player cheating, swipe your card on the same Beat Box directly before or after they do. Then let us know the Beat Box number, the time you swiped and your card number. We will then be able to trace the card or fob of the person suspected to be cheating. Email these details to team.northampton@beatthestreet.me

What are your tips for staying safe while playing Beat the Street?

Road Safety

Before you go out to play Beat the Street we recommend parents, teachers and community leaders look at THINK! - this is a one-stop resource for road safety education materials. We also recommend learning the Green Cross Code to ensure children are looking both ways and taking care when crossing roads. 


Increase your visibility to help drivers and other road users to see you. Wear bright and fluorescent materials in daytime and reflective materials at night.

Use flashing lights on your bicycles, pedal reflectors and wear reflective coats, bags or high visibility vests. Use a white or brightly coloured cycle helmet or even one with a light! Don’t forget the family dog - use a high visibility lead and collar, harness or coat.

Internet Safety

When engaging with Beat the Street via social media, please be aware that any comments, pictures or videos posted by the player are public and therefore viewable by anyone. As a result, parents should ensure that any information (such as address, contact details, etc) that could identify a child is not shared. If you need any further advice please refer to Internet Matters.

Be Covid Safe

We are operating strict safety measures including:

  • Our Beat Boxes are now extra sensitive so they are now 'contactless' - there is no need to touch the Boxes with your card or fob.
  • You'll notice our materials share Covid safety guidance and that we have placed 2 metre markers at Beat Boxes to remind players to keep their distance. We ask that you wait patiently for your turn at the Beat Box and give players space if there are others waiting for their turn at the Box.
  • We will only hold events in line with the latest government guidance and will not be encouraging big groups to gather.
  • Do not share or touch each other's cards or fobs
  • As always, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when you return home.

What should I be aware of when playing?

Please always be aware of your surroundings when playing.

  • Take care to ensure you are not trespassing on residents' driveways, and take care not to damage any property.
  • Always keep the local Covid restrictions in mind - keep your distance from other players. Find out more about playing safely here.
  • Be careful when crossing roads and make sure you are always visible to road users. Find out more about road safety here.

Who funds Beat the Street?

Beat the Street Northampton is brought to you by West Northamptonshire Council, Public Health Northamptonshire, Active Northants with funding from the National Lottery via Sport England.

It is delivered by Intelligent Health.

How can I sign up for the Beat the Street newsletter?

You can sign up for our weekly newsletter to get hints and tips throughout the game along with information about bonus points!

Sign up here.

© Intelligent Health Ltd 2021