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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Tynedale limbers up for Sport Relief Mile

WITH the line-up finalised, Sunday’s Hexham Courant Mile promises to be a cracker for the whole family.

A selection of local music and entertainment has been arranged to make sure the 2014 Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile at Tynedale Rugby Club goes with a bang.

The latest acts confirming their attendance at the event, organised jointly by the Hexham Courant and the rugby club, are the entertaining and quirky Ukes of Northumberland, and Hexham fitness instructor Viv Fawcett.

They join an exciting bill which will see Corbridge’s fledgling singer/songwriter Hayley Ellen Watson warm-up the crowd before the Pikey Beatz bring their popular blend of ska punk and reggae to proceedings.

Another big draw will be the appearance of England football legend Jack Charlton, a part of the 1966 World Cup winning team, who will start the runners on the day.

The Ukes will be on hand to greet participants arriving at the Corbridge sports club, their upbeat music always proving a big hit across the district.

They are sure to get the crowds all geed up, their traditional songs going down well with all ages.

Band member Ray Cowell said: “We always have a good laugh and we like to get people to join in.

“We try to make people have a good time and our music always puts a smile on people’s faces.

“We just enjoy what we do and that always rubs off on the crowd, so we are hoping to have a laugh for Sport Relief.

“We like to put something back into the community so we can think of no better way than to get people involved with our music at a charity event.”

To make sure people are all pumped up and ready for the fun runs, fitness instructor Viv will put participants through a warm-up regime. But it will not be too rigorous with the emphasis on fun, said Viv, who is considering throwing in a ‘funky chicken’ move to get people laughing.

Working at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre through North Country Leisure, she has been a fitness instructor for nearly 15 years and is looking forward to Sunday’s event.

“The warm-up will all be about limbering people up and taking them through some easy stretches,” Viv said.

“It is very important to warm up before exercising to reduce the risk of injury, but the session will be as fun as possible, so I might stick a few little moves in there.

“It is great that local people are supporting an event for a good cause within the community and I am looking forward to being part of it.”

Sunday’s event will be the second time the Courant and Tynedale Rugby Club have combined to host the Sport Relief Mile after the debut event two years ago.

It proved an instant success with 250 runners turning out on the day, with more than £4,000 raised as a result.

But the 2014 event promises to top that, the great line-up of entertainment surrounding the runs appealing to people of all ages.

Tynedale will open its doors to the public from 1pm, with the Ukes of Northumberland starting their set 15 minutes later to catch the crowd as they start to filter in.

Then it will be Viv’s turn to prepare the runners for their starring role, the instructor putting together a 10-minute regime.

The limelight will then be on former England great Jack Charlton to set the runners off.

Hundreds of local people will then run or walk their chosen distance of either one, three or six miles with many being sponsored to raise cash for the charity which funds vital projects both at home and abroad.

Their involvement does not end there though as all entrants kitted out in fancy dress will be put forward into a competition for the best dressed, with prizes kindly supplied by Haltwhistle’s Sainsbury’s store.

Just as the participants are expected to finish their runs, the music will get under way with Hayley Ellen Watson’s spellbinding voice set to captivate the crowd.

The local songstress will then hand over the stage to the Pikey Beatz for an energetic performance, their displays earning them national recognition as they are regularly booked for gigs across the country.

All the while, North-East magician, DJ and compere Steve Keys will entertain the gathering crowds with his witty banter.

It is important to stress that people do not have to enter the fun runs to come along and enjoy the event, as it is open to all to attend.

People still interested in signing up can do so up via www.sportreliefmile.com by tomorrow evening, or filling in a form on the day.

l Meanwhile staff at the Sainsbury’s store in Haltwhistle are preparing for a busy weekend of events in aid of Sport Relief.

Michael James plans to undergo a chest wax at noon today, while Craig Borrow and Gavin Shipley will be having their legs waxed by customers at the store.

And at 3pm today, people are invited to take part in a penalty shoot out competition in the store’s grounds.

Tomorrow, Sainsbury’s will be hosting a tombola from 8am, and a Sport Relief car wash between 10am and 3pm.

Sunday’s activities will include competitions to guess the teddy bear’s name, and the number of jelly beans in a jar.