THE Mayor of Sunderland joined an Olympic hero and two big black cats to round off a series of community walks.
Coun Norma Wright, Tony Jeffries and SAFC mascots Samson and Delilah joined families on the Niall’s Mile route which circled the outside of the Stadium of Light before moving inside the home of SAFC for a lap of the pitch.
The aim of the series of community walking events, which were held throughout October, is to encourage Wearsiders to take part in physical activity while also raising money for the club’s charity, the SAFC Foundation.
Coun Wright said: “I think Niall’s Mile is fantastic, vital in fact. Sunderland has had a history of problems with regards to health and well-being and whilst things are improving we’ve got a long way to go.
“Events like this can only help and I would like to encourage as many people as I can to get out and become more active because it can only be beneficial in terms of their health.”
Walkers taking part in the event were asked to pledge £1 to SAFC Foundation prior to walking and received a Niall’s Mile drawstring bag for participating.
Tony Jeffries added: “SAFC Foundation is a brilliant charity and since I’ve come back from the Olympics I’ve done a lot of work with them and it’s great to be able to show my support and lend a helping hand.
“Any activity is better than sitting on the sofa watching television and eating junk food like a lot of people do these days.
“Today’s event is brilliant for the kids, and some of the older people too, to be able come out and see the Stadium like this and get a bit of exercise too.”
Named after Sunderland legend and SAFC Foundation trustee Niall Quinn, the event has been organised by SAFC Foundation, the registered charity of Sunderland AFC which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary of delivering health, education, community and sport programmes across the North East.