MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE attended  the launch event for this year’s Active Sunderland BIG event programme.

Adding to Sunderland’s line-up of world class sport and leisure venues, the Beacon of Light hosted the BIG Indoor Sports Festival with children and families taking part in a huge range of fun, games and sport.

The event not only helped launch this year’s programme which includes the BIG 3K, BIG Bike Ride, BIG Walk, BIG Community Sports Festivals and the BIG Summer Festival, it also helped introduce some of the sponsors, sports clubs and community organisations contributing to  this year’s events.

This year’s events will be supported by sponsors Everyone Active, Gentoo, Oculus HR, IGNIFI, Coatsink and Hilary’s Blinds.

Another important introduction was that of the new Active Sunderland mascot, a lion who was named Roary after an on-line poll, with the winning suggestion from pupils at Lambton Primary School.

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “It was fantastic to see so many children and families take part in the BIG Indoor Sports Festival, and get involved in as many of the activities as they could to see which they enjoyed the most.

“We want people to enjoy sport, activities and staying fit and healthy but at the pace and level they feel most comfortable with. There’s something for all ages and abilities in the Active Sunderland BIG programme of events and activities, so please come along and join us.”

To help encourage more people to get involved in this year’s events and put the dates in their diaries there is an ‘early bird’ online discount offer until 21 March  with entries for all events now open atwww.sunderland.gov.uk/big

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