North East Connected

Traditional Street Games Project Trialled

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 10.35.03A PILOT project encouraging a return to traditional street games is being trialled in Middlesbrough.

Street Play is a national project which aims to give children the freedom to play actively and independently outside their own front doors to encourage health and active lifestyles.

To test the idea, Middlesbrough Council has agreed to requests from residents in Orwell Street, in the town’s Newport ward, to put in place a road closure on Wednesday, September 2 from 3pm-5.15pm.

The cul-de-sac will still be accessible to those who live on the street, however residents Mary Watts and Paul Grant will be acting as stewards by walking ahead of returning vehicles and whistling for children to pause their play.

Cllr Tracy Harvey, Executive Member for Environment and Newport ward representative, said: “The Newport area has a fantastic community spirit and this seems to me a really good way of encouraging that further.

“Historically in generations gone by, roads like Orwell Street would have been full of children playing outside their homes after school but with more and more vehicles now on our roads, this isn’t as safe as it once was.

“An initiative such as this is an interesting experiment that promotes the benefits of encouraging children to play together outdoors, which is good for both their health and social development, and for neighbours to get to know each other a little better and enjoy being part of a real community.

“It would be great to see this idea catch the imagination of our residents and for children to enjoy the simple pleasures of hopscotch, tigs, kerby and all the other street games so many of us will have many happy memories of.”

Middlesbrough residents interested in holding their own Street Play event should contact the authority’s Health Improvement Specialist Kelvin Hutton on 01642 515385.

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