A DYNAMIC duo from a North-East charity have been named as UK Truck Pulling Champions after a fundraising initiative in support of autistic people.

Kevin Meikle and Sophie Clarke, fundraisers for the North East Autism Society, became UK champions in their respective weight classes in the UK Truck Pulling Championship, held at the Tockwith Multidrive Centre, in York.

Event organisers North East Strongman Promotions are supporting the charity at a series of events around the region, and the two flexing fundraisers couldn’t resist getting involved.

Competitors faced off in three contests to move a truck 30m in the fastest time possible: pushing it, pulling it by rope hand-over-hand, and pulling it using a shoulder harness. Each vehicle weighed between five and sixteen tonnes.

Fundraising manager Kevin Meikle, a former professional artist, became the UK Truck Pulling Champion in the under 110kg class by winning two events and placing second in another.

He said: “I was feeling quite fatigued going into the competition, but the preparation I’d done paid off. I’m very surprised, but very pleased, and feeling chuffed.

“It was a very warm and friendly event, and it was great to have Sophie there so we could support each other.”

This was Sophie Clarke’s first time competing in a truck pull alongside other strongwomen, including former World’s Strongest Woman, Donna Moore. Undaunted, Sophie went on to win in her weight class.

She said: “I loved it. It was a really good event, and we’re just delighted that North East Strongman Promotions are supporting the North East Autism Society. It really inspired me and Kevin to give it our all.

“We’re so grateful that they’re helping this wonderful charity to reach a new audience, and to spread our message of autism acceptance further than ever before.”