Last year on Saturday 7th September, 60 members of Team Mini Sunshine ran, walked and wheeled the Mini and Junior Great North Run making us the proudest charity in the North East! This year we set our sights high to grow our mini running team to even more participant, raising awareness of children with disabilities in our region.
Team Mini Sunshine is the opportunity for many of our Sunshine Children to take part in a mainstream sporting event where their disability does not prevent them from having fun and being like any other child. We are always bursting with pride to see so many of our children cross the finish line in what is a truly inspirational and emotional day.
This year we're hoping for Team Mini Sunshine to be bigger and better than ever for 2020 and thanks to our supporters we have a full team of mini runners who registered to be part of the event supporting us this year. Last week Great North Run website opened up registration for all Junior spots, with children aged nine to sixteen eagerly awaiting their places in one of the North Easts most anticipated events. Although the website showed waiting times of up to 5 hours for some frustrated parents, eventually we received emails, messages and posts of excitement from families across the region saying that they had secured their spot and would be running in aid of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund.
On Tuesday, the website opened up registration once more, this time for Mini places, children aged three to eight years old had their chance of taking part, with a shorter course at 1.5km route, compared to the 4km route that the juniors take part in. Once again, the event sold out within the day, with agonisingly long queues, we were still delighted to receive more participants to welcome to Team Mini Sunshine 2020.
In previous years the junior and mini courses both start on the Newcastle side of the river and take the young runners across to Gateshead via the Swing Bridge. The Juniors have a slightly extended version that loops along the river, but both the Juniors and the Minis will cross back across the Gateshead Millennium Bridge towards the finish line on the Newcastle side. This year the event is to be held on Saturday 12th September. A highlight in family’s calendars across the region as it allows children of all ages and abilities to take part, alongside friends and family in an electric atmosphere.
All of our Team Mini Sunshine participants are in for an extra treat on the day too. For choosing to support The Sunshine fund our runners will get access to our exclusive VIP zone, situated on the quayside. It's the perfect place for families to meet, runners can utilise before and after the event, family members can cheer runners on, and our team can welcome Team Mini Sunshine back with a treat to say thank you! We also have a special "quiet tent" for those participants that may feel a bit overwhelmed, ensuring everyone feels safe and comfortable on the day. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, certificate and treats on the day too.
With support from our sponsors True Potential, who are passionate about supporting charity within the North East, we are so excited to welcome our new Team Mini Sunshine for 2020!