Former world champion athlete Colin Jackson has been on Wearside to encourage dads to get active and help the fight against deadly prostate cancer.
Colin, an Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion 110m hurdler, was at Sunderland’s Aquatic Centre, in Monkwearmouth, for a training session with gym members.
He is calling on as many men as possible to take part in this year’s Sanlam Go Dad Run in the city, which is taking place at Silksworth on Saturday, April 2.
Men-only 5k and 10k runs will take place on the day, with charity partners Prostate Cancer UK, Bowel Cancer UK, Calm and St Benedict’s Hospice set to benefit from fund-raising.
Colin has personally been affected by prostate cancer, after two of his uncles were diagnosed with the illness.
One survived, but the other sadly passed away.
Speaking to the Echo, he said: “We’re really trying to raise awareness of men’s health issues both mentally and physically and also to raise funds for prostate cancer and locally St Benedict’s Hospice.
“It is a men’s-only event but for women who want to get involved they should come down on the day and encourage their fellas and also if they feel like having a chilled Sunday, give the kids to the guys as they are more than welcome to run too.
Colin, who now commentates for BBC Sport, said: “I’ve been doing circuit training with some of the members here and it’s been brilliant.
“The enthusiasm has been really good from the group.
“I mentioned one of the statistics that one in eight men will get prostate cancer and that has really hit home how many people suffer from it.”
Craig Buchanan was one dad who came down to get tips from Colin on keeping in shape.
“He’s worked us hard but he’s a great motivator,” said the 28-year-old, who is dad to five-month-old Edward.
“I want to do the run but it’ll only be the 5k as I’ve been packing on the pounds recently!
“I’m looking forward to it though.”
Dean Randall, who is general manager at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre, said: “We’ve got a few people signed up but we want as many as possible to take part so that we can raise awareness of these illnesses.
“Ideally we’d like a couple of hundred of runners there as it that will make it a great day.”
Joining Colin on race day will be fellow former Great Britain sprinter Jamie Baulch as well as ex-Sunderland AFC captain Kevin Ball.
Early bird entry fees for the race start from £8 for boys aged 10 to 17 and £13 for those aged 18 and over.
To enter go to www.godadrun.co.uk.