Eagles swoop to back Morpeth to Newcastle races
Newcastle’s most successful sports team is backing a brand new event set to put the city centre stage this summer.
Newcastle Eagles basketball club extended their 27-game winning streak by retaining their BBL Cup in front of 10,000 fans in Birmingham last weekend.
But Fabulous Flournoy’s men are already looking ahead to July and the return of the famous Morpeth To Newcastle road race.
The Eagles, based at Northumbria University’s Sport Central, won all four domestic trophies last season.
And the club continues to pitch itself at the heart of the local community with its groundbreaking Hoops For Health programme reaching thousands of local kids every year.
“We have a number of things in common with the Morpeth To Newcastle event,” said Eagles’ managing director Paul Blake.
“Both ourselves and the M2N team are determined to use sport to promote healthy living, well being and exercise.
“We both understand the value of bringing families and friends together through sport.
“And crucially we are both committed to promoting Newcastle as a city where sport is at the heart of the community.
“It’s exciting to think of thousands of runners and cyclists gathering at the finish line in the city centre in the middle of summer enjoying everything that Newcastle has to offer.”
The ‘Morpeth’ has been revived by Phil Gray- owner of TRi and Robbie Elliot’s partner on the 2012 Bike For Bobby fundraising trek.
The original race ran for a century before spiraling costs forced its suspension in 2006.
It will return on July 17 and already boasts the support of Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton, Ashington’s Ashes hero Steve Harmison and five-time ‘Morpeth’ winner Mike McLeod.
“The Newcastle Eagles are synonymous with success and as a city and a region we forget just how fortunate we are to have them on our doorstep,” said Gray.
“They promote the area across the UK and reinforce the city’s reputation for being passionate about sport.
“They won a fifth successive domestic trophy this month and I don’t know anyone who would bet against them bagging another clean sweep!
“In the last decade they’ve dominated British basketball but at the same time they’ve done a huge amount off the court.
“As Paul says we share a common goal to get families active and do more to make Newcastle a healthy city.
“It’s great to know that they’re behind the Morpeth To Newcastle with the event just six months away.”
Entries are open now for the returning ‘Morpeth’ with a series of road races and cycle challenges planned for 26 miles of closed public roads.
The provisional route was released last month and Gray is continuing to work with Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council to finalise specific road closures.
“A closed roads event on this scale hasn’t happened before in the North East and it’s a huge challenge for everyone involved,” he added.
“However, we are continuing to receive a huge amount of support from the three councils and we’re very excited about what lies ahead.”
* To enter the Morpeth To Newcastle event visit www.morpeth2newcastle.com.