Tag, you’re it! Virtual reality app rewards Redbridge residents with cash prizes for staying fit

Schools and community teams can download Street Tag, a VR app that gives cash prizes for the fittest

Schools and community teams can download Street Tag, a VR app that gives cash prizes for the fittest teams. Picture: PA/Nick Potts - Credit: PA

A virtual reality app which encourages people to hit the borough’s streets to get active has launched with cash prizes.

Residents can use Street Tag, a free smartphone app that turns physical activities such as walking, running or cycling into a game with cash prizes or vouchers for the winning teams.

Schools and community teams can generate points by scanning virtual tags, which are dotted around the borough.

The app’s technology allows players to remain socially distanced, while enabling them to contribute to their team’s points score through exercise in their neighbourhood.

There are separate prizes totalling £1,100, with the top community team getting £200 and the winning school getting £150 for its parent teacher association.

A total of 15 community teams and three schools can collect cash prizes for getting fit leading into winter.

This new initiative is funded by Redbridge Council as part of its active travel and public health projects to motivate and support residents to improve their health and wellbeing.

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It aims to help children and their families embed regular exercise into their daily lives, by helping them adopt a more active lifestyle through turning the boroughs outdoor spaces into a giant virtual playground.

Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, social care, mental health and the ageing, said: “Street Tag is an ideal way to keep fit during lockdown, as government guidelines allow outdoor daily exercise with people you live with, from your support bubble, or to meet one person from another household as long as you socially distance.

“Regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of a range of long term health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as helping to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing.

“The chief medical officer recommends that adults should take part in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, school age children should be active for 60 minutes every day.

“Walking and cycling as part of the new street tag challenge will help residents achieve their targets.”

For more information, or to learn how to set up a school or community team, visit www.streettag.co.uk with the first season ending in early January.