More than 2,000 children have been joined by world record-holding race walker Tom Bosworth for a huge fun run, with parents urged to get youngsters involved in another major event this September.
The GO Run For Fun campaign, which is delivered by The Great Run Company, saw more than 2,000 young people turn out for the event at Stockton’s Preston Park.
The initiative is an international campaign with the aim of inspiring children to be more active through fun, short-distance running. Since its launch in 2013 more than 290,000 young people have taken part across the world.
It comes ahead of Stockton hosting the Simplyhealth Great Tees Junior and Mini Runs and the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k, which will take place on Saturday 7 September.
The mass participation events take pride of place alongside the Great North CityGames, a world-class athletics event set to take place in the heart of Stockton for the first time, with international athletes competing against home-grown talent. The events in the Tees Valley will form part of the Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend, which features the world’s biggest half marathon, on Sunday 8 September.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “From the recent National Premier League Tennis Finals to the upcoming Great North CityGames and Rugby League World Cup 2021, we’ve got lots going on in the Tees Valley to inspire the next generation of sportspeople.
“Just a few years ago we wouldn’t even have bothered to bid to host events such as the Rugby League World Cup 2021. But now we have the confidence not just to bid for them, but we’re winning these events because organisers see what we have to offer here in the Tees Valley.
“Through campaigns such as GO Run For Fun and the Simplyhealth Great Tees Junior and Mini Run we’re getting children here in the Tees Valley directly involved in being active, keeping them healthy while they have a good time.”
Brendan Foster, Chairman of organisers, The Great Run Company, said: “It was fantastic to hear that so many kids got out and running for the latest in a long line of GO Run For Fun events. We’re working hard to get our young people to be more active, but we need to keep the momentum going.
“I’d urge parents across the Tees Valley to get their children signed up to the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Tees Run event as part of Stockton’s role in the Great North Run weekend, which will include inspiring athletics performances from some of the world’s best athletes at the Great North CityGames. Last year saw us launch the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k to huge success, and I know that all of these events can be even bigger and better in 2019.”
Cllr Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “This event was a great way of getting our kids exercising and the Great North CityGames will transform Stockton High Street, bringing dozens of athletes for a fun and engaging day. But even if you are not a top athlete, you can get involved by joining one of the runs – and I’d encourage everyone to join in and get the whole family signed up.”
The Great North CityGames is being brought to the Tees Valley thanks to a partnership between The Great Run Company, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
To register for the Simplyhealth Great Tees Junior and Mini Run or the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10k, visit greatrun.org/tees10k.