Newcastle-based tea and coffee experts Ringtons is working with the Great North Run to help achieve its ambition to find a representative from every country in the world to take part in the 2016 half-marathon.
Famous for its traditional doorstep delivery service, Ringtons is sponsoring a runner from a tea estate in Rwanda to take part in the 13.1mile run from Newcastle to South Shields on 11th September.
Great North Run organisers the Great Run Company are calling for participants from all 193 United Nations member states to take part in the event and asking members of the public to help them find a runner to represent each nation.
Bernard Ndayisabye, a senior assistant accountant from the Sorwathé Tea Estate in northern Rwanda will be representing both Rwanda and Ringtons in the 2016 Great North Run and running alongside Ringtons tea buyer and blender Daniel Smith, who is also the great-grandson of Ringtons founder Samuel Smith.
James Jobling, Ringtons Head of Tea said: “I am lucky enough to travel to some of the finest tea estates and plantations in the world through my work and I had the pleasure of visiting Sorwathé in both 2006 and 2013, where I was able to see first-hand how the community works together to produce its tea.
“When we saw the Great North Run were looking for a representative from every country to take part in the 2016 challenge, as a local company we thought it fitting to sponsor someone from one of our close tea estates to take part in the run.
“We are looking forward to returning Sorwathé's hospitality and welcome Bernard to the north east. We're planning on taking Bernard on a tour of our fantastic region and meet some of our loyal customers while on one of our Ringtons vans too!”
Great Run's director of communications David Hart said: “The Great North Run is a North-East institution with worldwide appeal, so working with Ringtons, who have such a long and illustrious history in the region is a great fit.
“We knew that finding a runner from every country in the world was going to be a huge challenge, so we're delighted that Ringtons have lent their support to this worldwide effort. We would welcome any other companies who might be able to help us to get in touch.”
RUN WITH THE WORLD AT THE GREAT NORTH RUN
We want the 2016 Great North Run to be the first running event to boast a participant from every country in the world – and we need you to help us achieve it.
After becoming the first running event of its kind to welcome our millionth finisher over the finish line in 2014, we are now aiming for another first – to recruit at least one runner born in every member state of the United Nations – a total of 193 countries – to take part in the iconic event from Newcastle to South Shields, in September.
Do you know an Andorran in Acton? A postman from Palau? A teacher from Togo? Or is there a Madagascan residing in Manchester?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us using #GNRWorldRun