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Sporting Summer in NewcastleGateshead

28th July 2010

Categories: Latest News


The World Cup may be over and dreams of a British win at Wimbledon will have to wait for another year, but in NewcastleGateshead and Tyne and Wear there’s still a busy summer of sporting events to look forward to.

North East England plays host to the Sainsbury’s UK School Games from Thursday
Sunday 5 September. Designed to replicate the feel of a real Olympics and Paralympics games, the Sainsbury's UK School Games includes ten sports: athletics, badminton, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. There will also be disability events in swimming, athletics and table tennis.

Over 1,600 elite school aged athletes will take part in the event which features an opening and closing ceremony, athlete’s village and a special curated cultural programme for the athletes, families and local residents. The Sainsbury’s UK School Games were launched in 2006 and will be held every year until 2012.

Olympic gold medalist and Sainsbury’s UK School Games ambassador Jason Gardner said: “As a young athlete trying to forge a career in elite sport, I would have loved to have been able to mix with hundreds of other athletes, learn from them and compete on a national stage against the best in my age group.

“These are exactly the opportunities the Sainsbury's UK School Games in North East England are going to present each competitor, which will stand them in tremendous stead as they look to grow in their sport.”

September also sees the most iconic half marathon on the planet, the BUPA Great North Run celebrate its 30th anniversary. On Sunday 19 September, 54,000 runners will compete in a 12½ mile race from NewcastleGateshead to South Shields in the world’s biggest half marathon.

The Great North Run weekend also features the BUPA Junior and Mini Great North Run. The Mini Great North Run is for girls and boys aged from 3 to 8 years and covers approximately 1 mile. The Junior Great North Run is divided into two age categories - for boys and girls aged 9 to 11 and for boys and girls aged 12 to 16 - both over a distance of approximately 3 miles.

Celebrating the history and impact of the Great North Run in NewcastleGateshead and Tyne and Wear, Bupa Great North Run Culture is an annual series of arts projects, events and exhibitions which celebrate and explore sport and art.

Featuring film, photography, dance, drama, writing, participation projects and much more, Bupa Great North Run Culture uses the world's largest half-marathon as the starting point for exciting, innovative and accessible art.

Events in this year’s cultural programme include: In The Long Run: 30 Years of the Great North Run, a major new exhibition at Great North Museum, Newcastle (17 July – 17 October 2010), which celebrates the significant role this event has played in reflecting and shaping the region's cultural identity. Sir Peter Blake has produced a series of prints which feature as part of the exhibition.

Turner Prize nominated artist Fiona Banner transforms a decommissioned RAF Tornado plane into a large single bell in a project called Tornado. Situated next to the River Tyne at the Hillgate Quay in Gateshead (next to the Swing Bridge), Tornado is on display from Saturday 24 July – Sunday 5 September.

With music festival season in full swing, Tyne and Wear offers some fantastic music events during September. Legendary British rock group Jethro Tull (17 September) will be performing at Gypsies Green in South Shields and in Sunderland, the Split Festival (25-26 September) brings together some of the North East’s most high profile acts including; Maximo Park, The Futureheads and the hotly tipped, Frankie and the Heartstrings.

Looking ahead to October, the award-winning Juice Festival returns (20 –31 October, NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people, Juice 2010 features The Next Level by Urban Playground & Gravity Style, the exhilarating leaders of performance parkour; an exhibition of photographs by children from Gateshead who have worked with documentary photographer Gideon Mendel (who previously led Kingsmead Eyes, shown at the V&A Museum of Childhood), plus a specially created programme of Halloween events making NewcastleGateshead the perfect place to spend the October half term.

Please see the listings information below for a host of events taking place throughout September and October. For further information and to find out what’s on, please visit,

Sainsbury’s UK school Games -
Great North Run & Great North Run Culture - /
Juice - NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people –

Experience more with a Discover Pass, offering exclusive money saving deals at over 60 of Tyne and Wear's most popular visitor attractions. The Pass is available to buy online and from Tourism Information Centres for just £2 For more information on things to do in NewcastleGateshead, Sunderland, South Shields and Tynemouth go to


Media Enquiries
Contact: Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager Tourism Tyne and Wear / 0191 440 5739


2 - 5 September
The UK School Games is a multi-sport event for the nation’s most talented school age
athletes. Launched in 2006, they are held every year until 2012 and are designed to replicate the feel of events like the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, with opening and closing ceremonies, athletes’ villages and a special cultural programme for residents and visitors. Thousands of children, and their families, will be welcomed to NewcastleGateshead. The UK School Games also celebrates Gateshead’s title of European City of Sport for 2010.

Sainsbury’s UK School Games North East England 2010 forms part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s programme of high quality, distinctive and family-friendly festivals and events

09 – 12 September
Heritage Open Days
Attractions across Tyne and Wear
Free Entry
A range of attractions across Tyne and Wear will be opening their doors for free to the public as part of the annual Heritage Open Days event with participating attractions from across the country. In Tyne and Wear the Journal Tyne Theatre, the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, Souter Lighthouse in South Shields and Hylton Castle in Sunderland are among the many outstanding architectural and historical wonders throwing their doors open this year.

07-18 September
Sunderland Empire
Tickets: £22.50-£44.00
The West End's favourite musical comedy, Hairspray, heads to Sunderland this autumn. Telling the story of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart as she sets out to follow her extraordinary dreams, inspire her mum and win the boy she loves. Hairspray is the musical with everything - the ultimate feel-good show which has played to sold out houses in London, on Broadway and theatres around the globe.

17 September
Jethro Tull
Gypsies Green, South Shields
Tickets £27.50
Legendary band Jethro Tull are set to rock South Shields in a one off special concert at Gypsies Green. In an exciting new initiative South Tyneside Council and the Customs House have joined forces to bring together the event to add to the cultural experience of this year’s Great North Run weekend. Performing in a giant marquee at the site famous for being the finish of the world’s biggest half marathon, the famous musicians are certain to draw a massive crowd at their only scheduled UK gig.

18 – 19 September
Celebrating its 30th year in 2010, the BUPA Great North Run is the world’s largest half marathon. It has become an iconic feature of NewcastleGateshead’s cultural and sporting programme and welcomes 52,000 runners to the North East from all over the world.

Junior and Mini North Run: The children’s programme will be developed as part of a region-wide initiative to get kids active and talent-spot the best to race at the front end of the Junior Run, as well as including school visits, master classes and lectures by professional athletes.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s Septemberfest sees a series of special broadcasts live from NewcastleGateshead throughout the Great North Run weekend. Nicky Campbell, Gabby Logan, Richard Bacon and Colin Murray are just a few of the presenters re-locating to the famous NewcastleGateshead quayside to present all the action from the run.

The Great North City Games are part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s programme of high quality, distinctive and family-friendly festivals and events /

25 – 26 September
Split Festival
Tickets: £15-£32.50
The Split Festival is fast growing and 2010 is set to build on the success of last year’s event with more top names chomping at the bit to get involved. Last year saw the North East’s most high profile acts come together for the event while this year’s line-up will include bands from further afield including Liverpool’s Hot Club de Paris, as well as a special appearance from The Futureheads.
In addition Maximo Park has been confirmed as one of the headline acts alongside Frankie and the Heartstrings, The Paddingtons and Little Comets.
20 –31 October
JUICE: NewcastleGateshead’s festival for children and young people
Various locations across NEWCASTLEGATESHEAD
Juice is a celebration of the creativity of children and young people aged 0-18. The festival will showcase outstanding work created by children and young people across NewcastleGateshead.

Juice runs from 20th to 31st October 2010 in venues and open air locations across NewcastleGateshead. Featuring The Next Level by Urban Playground & Gravity Style, the exhilarating leaders of performance parkour; an exhibition of photographs by children from Gateshead who have worked with documentary photographer Gideon Mendel (who previously led Kingsmead Eyes, shown at the V&A Museum of Childhood), plus a specially created programme of Halloween events, NewcastleGateshead is the perfect place to spend the October half term. Full programme announced early September

Juice is developed and produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative as part of its high quality, distinctive and family-friendly festivals and events programme.

Notes to Editors
Why 'NewcastleGateshead'?
You may wonder why the destination is described as NewcastleGateshead...

Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank of the River Tyne) have been transformed into a single cultural and cosmopolitan visitor destination: NewcastleGateshead (think Buda Pest).

The two places are closely linked - by seven bridges across the river – and visitor attractions and events can be found on both sides. Visitors to the area are drawn to sample attractions, galleries, live performances, sporting events, museums, restaurants, hotels and much more in both Newcastle and Gateshead - with easy pedestrian access from one to the other in a matter of minutes via the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Three of the area's most high-profile contemporary attractions (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, international music centre The Sage Gateshead and world famous public art the Angel of the North) are all in Gateshead, while Newcastle brings a wealth of history and heritage (along with its world-class contemporary developments), plus an incredible choice of cosmopolitan nightlife, to the successful partnership: NewcastleGateshead. 

Download full press release

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