Pokémon hunters are being invited to catch them all, by exploring new places the virtual monsters may be hiding, through a series of guided walks.
Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light, All Together Sunderland and Active Sunderland are calling upon players of the gaming phenomenon to take part in the Niall’s Miles initiative, which challenges people of all ages to follow guided walks at different locations across the city.
The regular walks, which take place in parks and outdoor spaces across Sunderland, may help gamers find rare Pokémon, as they explore parts of the city they may otherwise not have visited.
The Niall’s Miles initiative, which is organised by the Foundation of Light, in partnership with the council and Everyone Active, aims to get people in the city out and about and moving more. It is hoped by promoting Pokémon-hunting during the walks, more people will get involved and get active.
Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, councillor John Kelly, said: “Pokémon GO has taken the whole world by storm, and we know that it is getting people out and about, as they seek out Pokémon in and around Sunderland.
“We hope that, by linking the game with Niall’s Miles and playing it in a safer, more controlled way for young people and children in particular, we can help take people right across the city to new and interesting places, and in the process, help them find Pokémon that they might otherwise miss without exploring different locations in Sunderland. It’s a really novel way of getting people to explore their city.”
Liz Barton-Jones, health and wellbeing curriculum lead at the Foundation of Light, said: “Pokémon GO has mass appeal, and we know that it has the ability get people off the sofa and out and about.
“Niall’s Miles is all about helping people to complete gentle exercise that will also help to grow their confidence and encourage them to explore new places, so there is a natural synergy, and we’re keen to tie the two things up. And, of course, the fact that our walks are guided means that people are safe and supported, and that they can concentrate their efforts on locating Pokémon, while we effectively become their eyes and ears.”
The next Niall’s Miles is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 7 from 10am until 11.30am at Backhouse Park. No booking is necessary for Niall’s Miles walks, so families can simply turn up and take part.
Those who take part are encouraged to share updates from the walk on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #niallsmiles and #bemoreactive . For more information visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk or for more ways to get fit as a family, visit www.activesunderland.org.uk. Schools wishing to find out more and get special Niall’s Miles learning resources should call 0191 5515191.