One family has an extra special reason for picking up their game cards and taking part in Wolverhampton’s exciting Beat the Street competition, which got underway today. Because the walking, running and cycle challenge is set to help nine-year-old Myles Broadhurst as he continues his recovery from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
He and his family played Beat the Street when it came to Wolverhampton for the first time last year and, according to mum Ann-Marie, the game has played an important role in helping nine-year-old Myles to regain his strength and confidence.
Mum Ann-Marie said: “Myles was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the blood, when he was six and underwent a year of intense treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“Thankfully he’s now in remission, but the treatment he had left him very weak. At one point, he lost the ability to walk, leaving him wheelchair bound, and it was a long time before he was able to walk even a short distance.
“As well as losing his strength, Myles lost his confidence. However, Beat the Street helped us greatly in motivating Myles to get outside with his younger sister Perdy and to start walking again, strengthening the muscles in his legs and improving his health in the process.
“His treatment is due to come to an end later this year and, although he still has some mobility issues, he is going from strength to strength.”
Ann-Marie, who with husband Mark have raised £1,300 for cancer charity Bloodwise, formerly Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, through their Smiles For Myles appeal, said: “We are very excited that Beat the Street is back again this year. It is a fantastic, fun way to spend quality time together as a family, and both Myles and Perdy are really looking forward to playing it again.”
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s great to hear the positive impact that Beat the Street has had on people like Myles, and I’m delighted that it has played a part in his ongoing recovery.
“Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do; it not only improves your physical health but also has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, and Beat the Street is a great excuse for anyone, young or old, to get out and about.”
Beat the Street, which runs for seven weeks from today, invites people to score points by tapping special sensors called Beat Boxes which can be found on lampposts around the City.
Tapping one of the 191 Beat Boxes at the start of the journey, and others en route or at the end, will calculate the distance that the player has travelled. This is recorded against the card and added to the player’s individual total, their team total and the city’s overall score.
Players can monitor their progress by logging on to the Beat the Street website – https://beatthestreet.me/wolves – with top scorers in the running for a share of £4,000 worth of great prizes, including vouchers and goody bags. Schools and teams will also compete against one another to see who can travel the furthest and win up to £750 of sports and fitness equipment supplied by Decathlon, and if Wolverhampton collectively travels over 200,000 miles – and in doing so beats last year’s total – £1,000 will be given to charity.