Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Try it - On the Tees

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


FOR anyone who has ever fancied a go at water skiing, kayaking or canoe polo - now's your chance.

In what could be the leisure opportunity of the year, these are just three of the many activity 'taster' sessions - water-based and water-side - on offer in the nine-day Take to the Tees Festival, which begins next weekend (22 August).

Take to the Tees is an opportunity for anyone to try out something new and Stockton Council and its partners have lined up an amazing array of exciting activities. From powerboat trips to nature walks or guided cycle rides - there's sure to be something to float your boat.

Sessions must be pre-booked and, with most costing just £2 per person and some completely free, the Council is advising people to book early, using the Arc online website www.arconline.co.uk

Most events are based at the Tees Barrage or various points on Stockton Riverside including Stockton's Castlegate Quay Watersports Centre. All equipment is provided and qualified instructors will be on hand where appropriate.

Councillor Ken Lupton, Leader of Stockton Council, said: "The idea behind Take to the Tees is to encourage people to try out an activity they have never done before or would like to know more about.

"The River Tees is a wonderful natural resource and we want to encourage as many people as possible to make use of it to get fit, be active and have fun.

"Hopefully, many people will then feel motivated to take part in activities on a regular basis. There really should be something to appeal to everyone here and, who knows, we might even inspire a future Olympic champion?

"The message is - don't wait, book early. It's first come, first served for all the activities, so they are sure to sell out quickly.

"Indeed, a football tournament organised as part of Take to the Tees is already full."

Take to the Tees begins on Sunday 22 August with the Stockton Triathlon, in which nearly 400 competitors will swim, cycle and run their way around the river and its banks - more than 80 of them in a 'mini' triathlon for beginners.

The activity taster sessions run from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 August and sports include sailing, water skiing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking and canoe polo, street orienteering, Boxfit and a netball tournament.

For families, there's a Teddy Bears Picnic and Bear Hunt, running sessions for parents with children and Soccer Tots football for younger ages.

There are sessions in cheerleading, hula and skipping. New mums get into post-baby shape with Fit 2 Push sessions and, for mobility limited people and wheelchair users, there are specially designed Wheelyboats.

Those looking for an adrenaline rush can race round the Tees on a Thundercat boat, walk on water in an inflatable sphere or powerboat to Teesmouth and back.

On the river bank, there are guided cycle rides, walk fit sessions and a nature walk with pond dipping.

Take to the Tees also includes live music at the Tees Barrage and the River Rat Race, in which 700 hardy souls will splash, jump, kayak, climb and run around a unique 10 kilometre course on Sunday 29 August.

Two events normally held at Preston Park are relocated to the Riverside this year - the Stockton Summer Show at Stockton Riverside includes a circus and other family entertainment on 28-30 August, with ARC in the Park hosting a special Catch 22 Comedy Club and music from tribute band Beatlemania at the Tees Barrage on 27 and 28 August.

Full details are at www.stockton.gov.uk

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