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 .
Wabi Sabi Taekwondo Academy
Roz Gadd set up Wabi Sabi Taekwondo Academy in Coxhoe, County Durham as she recognised a need for something different in the local area. Since then the community have taken the academy to their hearts, with a large number of children, young people and adults passing through it's doors. Roz's no nonsense approach teaches that it's just as important to “be a martial art” as “do a martial art” and emphasises the tenants of taekwondo which encourage courtesy, helpfulness and life long learning.
When Roz's daughter Jade, herself an experienced Taekwondo practitioner and instructor, began suffering with the genetic condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome the Wabi Sabi family stepped in to help. Callum McNally, who has been training with the academy since he was twelve years old is now running the Simplyhealth Great North Run to raise funds for the family to modify their home to better accommodate Jade's condition and raise the profile of the Academy that has had such a profound effect on his life.
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.