ACTIVE Sunderland and its BIG events programme is now up, running and accepting entries online.

First launched in 2012 as part of the Olympic year, thousands of people from in and outside of Sunderland have since taken part in BIG events and last year more than 5,000 people joined a BIG event.

This year’s BIG events begin with the new BIG 3-in-1 on Sunday 23 April that takes in a fun run, bike ride and walk at Herrington Country Park.

Helping launch the 2017 BIG programme at the Raich Carter Centre, where more than 400 people were enjoying dozens of different activities was Councillor John Kelly, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture.

He said: “The Active Sunderland BIG Events are always a great way to have a go and take part in many different activities and sports. It’s very straight-forward to get online with Active Sunderland and sign-up for one of our great events.

Cllr Kelly who pitched in with bowls and swingball at the launch event, added: “I’d encourage everyone to get active, to get out and join our BIG events.”

As well as the 3-in-1, the other BIG events for 2017 are:

• BIG 3k Run on Sunday 7 May from Keel Square as part of the Run Sunderland Festival. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the route is part of the same closed road course as the Siglion Sunderland City 10k and the Siglion Half Marathon on the same day.

• BIG Bike Ride on Sunday 11 June with different routes starting and finishing at St. Peter’s Riverside near the University of Sunderland.

• BIG Walk on Sunday 1 October with different routes starting and finishing at Herrington Country Park and also suitable for different ages and abilities.

Entry for all the BIG events is only £10 per person and always includes an Active Sunderland t-shirt and goody bag.

For more details of all the BIG Events and Festivals programme and to enter please go to www.activesunderland.org.uk

You can also check the Active Sunderland Facebook page to keep up to date with the activity programme or email active@sunderland.gov.uk