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Gateshead Schools’ Fun Run gears up for action


May 28, 2017
Forty eight Gateshead Primary Schools have registered to take part in a mass fun run on Friday 26 May, the last day of school before the half-term break.
4,500 children between the ages of 5 and 11 will descend upon Saltwell Park to take part in the intu Metrocentre Great Gateshead Fun Run, organised by Gateshead School Sport Partnership.
The day will start with a mass warm up activity, led by intu Metrocentre’s popular mascots the Metrognomes, and the panto cast from Sleeping Beauty, playing later in the year at Gateshead International Stadium.
Participants will run in a number of waves of approximately 150-200, beginning with an elite 1 mile run featuring 150 competitors (aged 9-10).  Nursery and reception pupils (aged 3-5) will complete a slighter shorter course of 0.68 miles.
ITV Tyne Tees’ popular weather presenter Ross Hutchinson will start the race, alongside intu Metrocentre’s general manager, Gavin Prior.
The first three girls and boys in the competitive race will be awarded medals, along with a £20 intu Gift Card, and a family ticket to see Sleeping Beauty this December at the new indoor Stadium Theatre at Gateshead International Stadium.
In addition, every child who returns their participation certificate to one of intu Metrocentre’s customer service desks during half term week (27 May – 4 June) will go into a lucky draw to win a £100 intu Gift card, a Namco family bowling pass and a meal for four at one of intu Metrocentre’s restaurants.
Kevin Hay, School Sport & Physical Activity Development Manager, Gateshead SSP and event organiser, said: 
“This fun run is one of over 200 sporting events we organise for Gateshead schools each year, and one of our flagship events. We’re thrilled to welcome intu Metrocentre on board this year as our headline partner. As a small self funded organisation within Gateshead Council that receives no local authority funding we are always keen to be associated with Gateshead based organisations and those with a passion for PE/Sport, and the benefits that participation can bring.
We’ve actually applied for Guinness World Record status in the ‘Largest children’s fun run’ category and it would be a great achievement for all concerned if we become record holders.”
Clare Cannon, regional community manager for intu, added:
“intu Metrocentre is delighted to be part of an event that is promoting health and well-being here in the north east. Gateshead SSP has a mission to build an active and healthy future for children through PE and sport. It’s a great way to start the half-term week by kick starting activity that can continue throughout the holiday period, and encouraging children to take part in more physical activity with family and friends now the light nights give more opportunity to enjoy more free time after school.”
Caedmon Community Primary School in Gateshead is one of the forty eight schools taking part in the fun run, and Metrognome Rusty visited pupils from year 2 to see how their training is progressing.
Aliyah, 7, said:
“We all screamed with excitement to meet a Metrognome, and we’re looking forward to meeting them all at the race. Running in the park is my favourite event because I get to run with different children and my friends from other schools and I get to race with the Metrognomes!”
Liam, 6, added:
“I’m so happy that I’m going to see the Metrognomes for the first time! I love to run in the park because I get lots of exercise and to have fun with my friends.”
Head Teacher Clive Wisby commented:
“At Caedmon Primary School we greatly benefit from our affiliation with the Gateshead School Sport Partnership and fully understand how physical activity can contribute to the holistic development of our pupils. The intu Metrocentre Great Gateshead Fun Run is a fantastic example of the varied programme of opportunities afforded to us and we are proud to say that our whole school will be in attendance!  Events such as this are without doubt the highlight of our sporting calendar and our pupils can’t wait to get to the start line.”

By Emily