Great North weekend for the Port of TyneThe Port of Tyne is in the thick of the action across the busiest sporting weekend of the year. On Friday, the Port is sponsoring the 11th annual Tyne Tunnel 2K wheelchair race - billed as the fastest wheelchair race on earth, and will be in the company the world's elite paralympic athletes as they race under the depths of the river Tyne.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, paralympic Gold medallist, and co-sponsor of Tyne Tunnel 2K Race says: "As a fellow athlete, I understand how important this event is to these paralympians and its great news that the Port of Tyne is putting its support in to making this event happen, especially in the build up to the 2012 Olympic Games".
On Sunday nine Port employees will be pounding the streets in the most iconic half marathon on the planet - running in the Great North Run - all raising cash for good causes and getting a £100 boost from the Port of Tyne to start them off. Among them is veteran runner Jim Barker, 57 from Hebburn - taking part in his 31st Great North Run - yes that means he has done all of them and has made some amazing sacrifices on the way in his determination never to miss a single race over the years. His understanding wife Doreen also 57 has seen him miss family holidays, and even a head injury in 1991, a broken ankle in 2003, and serious back injury in 2005 hasn't stopped Jim donning his running shoes.
Jim says: "I wouldn't miss a Great North Run, it's a truly fantastic event that puts the North East on the map, and the sense of achievement at the end is just amazing. It keeps me busy and fit as well!"
And also on Sunday a bunch of 13 hardy swimmers take to the Tyne for their own watery version of the Great River Swim. Under the careful eye of the Port of Tyne Harbour Master and his team they'll swim the 10 miles from the Millennium Bridge, finishing at Little Haven Beach South Shields.
Mike Nicholson, Harbour Master says: "The Port of Tyne is committed to making the river accessible for sport and leisure whenever possible. While I wouldn't encourage open swimming in the Tyne, these are all professionals, they will have a safety boat with them and the marine team will be monitoring the river for shipping. I wish them the very best of luck."
Susan Wear, Port of Tyne, Director of Corporate Affairs adds: "We are delighted that our staff are involved in so many events taking place this weekend which will support a whole host of worthwhile causes and be part of the most exciting weekends in the sporting calendar."