The Great North Run will be celebrating a landmark occasion when the 40th staging takes place in 2020. GNR40 will be the boldest event yet, with a whole host of exciting new activities and experiences for runners, spectators and visitors planned.

The event's partnership with Made By Sport will play a big part in next year's celebrations. In June Great Run were announced as a founding partner of this national campaign, which was launched by HRH Duke of Sussex, Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams

This four year campaign has been created to support the vital work of community sports organisations across the UK. It aims to champion the power sport has to change lives and raise £40m in additional funds for organisations using sport to transform the lives of young people in the UK over the next four years.

Made By Sport is aiming to raise a significant sum through its partnership with GNR40, as the campaign teams up with this landmark moment for the world's most iconic Half Marathon, to use the power of sport to change the lives of young people in the area.

That money will stay in the North East to support those local organisations who are using the power of sport to change young lives.

This year we're highlighting the work of some of these amazing community sports organisations and the extraordinary people that give up their time and energy to sustain them. We hope finding out more will motivate runners to support the campaign in 2020 .

Whitley Bay Barbarians Girls Rugby League

Whitley Bay Barbarians developed a girls section to go alongside a thriving boys section in 2010. The girls section started with 4 players who came from a local school, through lots of coaching in schools numbers at the club grew and grew and now the club runs Girls only teams at U12, U14, U16 and Open Age Women as well as having girls in our U10 mixed team. 

Lee Carbutt, who was a community coach for the local area, could see the benefit of developing a girls section for the club and there are now over 100 girls training regularly. They are currently the only rugby leage team in the North East to run teams for Girls only. They currently also have 4 girls who have been scouted for Leeds Rhinos Academy.

The U16 and Open Age teams are currently fundraising for a tour to Australia and players are taking on the Simplyhealth Great North 5K to help them reach target.

The work these groups do is so important, not just in the communities they operate, but for the success and prosperity of the entire country. Ultimately they play a crucial role in providing young people with life skills they can use well beyond the sporting arena.

Local sports clubs and teams have always been a huge part of the Great North Run story with many organisations facilitating their own fundraising through the event. 

Sport has been a crucial part of life for people growing up in the region for many generations, and through the determination and tireless efforts of local volunteers, coaches and parents we have produced a number of sporting superstars.

Crucially, in an area disproportionately affected by economic decline, sport has been a lifeline for many individuals giving them a sense of purpose, pride and achievement.