WEARSIDE MATTERS: Five great ways to get active outdoors
With spring in the air and the nights getting lighter, we are shining a spotlight on five great ways to get outdoors and active in Sunderland.
Sunderland is home to a wide range of sport and activity centres, from climbing to canoeing, and karting to skiing. With the warmer months ahead, and longer, lighter evenings, Sunderland Business Group and Active Sunderland have come together to create a list of places perfect for a solo adventure, or to enjoy with family or friends.
Miles of walks in Sunderland
Getting out with the family and exploring the city is made easy, thanks to Niall’s Miles, a partnership initiative between the Foundation of Light, the registered charity of Sunderland AFC, and All Together Sunderland with Active Sunderland to get families out and about more to stay fit and healthy.
Now in it’s sixth year, Niall’s Miles – which sees club mascots Samson and Delilah take Sunderland families on free guided walks in parks and outdoor spaces across the city – aims to get children to walk a mile every day, both in school and in their own time.
Families taking part can post photos and updates about the events on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #niallsmiles and #bemoreactive. No booking is necessary, so families can simply turn up and take part.
For more information visit www.foundationoflight.co.ukActive Sunderland’s Walking Programme is also great for those who are keen to try something new. It now offers 17 weekly led Health Walks, Nordic Walks and ‘Mums on the Move’ Walks.
All led walks are free and are delivered by Volunteer Walk Leaders.
The walks are a great way to get out in the fresh air, have fun, meet new people and improve physical and mental wellbeing.
They are suitable for all ages, fitness levels and abilities, last for between 30 and 120 minutes and are tailored each week to meet the needs of the walkers in the group.
For further information visit www.activesunderland.org.ukAdrenalin rush
For those who want to enjoy something more fast-paced, Karting North East in Sunderland is an award-winning venue offering a host of activities including karting, paintball, rage rally, archery and tomahawks, and off road 4x4.
With its main circuit laid in 1996, Karting North East offers 1.2 kilometres of track, and a fleet of thirty 390cc karts.
For little ones, there is 350 metre junior circuit, so the whole family can get active together.
For more information, visit www.kartingnortheast.comWintery wonderland
To experience a popular winter sport in the spring, Silksworth Sports Complex and Ski Slope is one of the premier ski and snowboard centres in the country, teaching skiing and snowboarding on three dry slopes.
Affiliated with Snow Sport England, the ski slope is suitable for people as young as four, with two nursery slopes for little ones and those that are just getting started.
And there are qualified instructors on hand to ensure that people of all ages and abilities are helped to find their feet on the slopes.
For more information, visit www.everyoneactive.comScaling the heights
Sunderland Wall is one of the largest indoor climbing centres in the UK, and is tucked away in Pallion.
With a range of climbs suitable for new and experienced climbers, a massive 23 metre wall as well as offering over 900m2 of climbing and bouldering, the Wall is a great place to burn off energy as a family or get competitive with friends.
There are a range of courses for both adults and children, and a team of trained instructors are on hand to help climbers reach their peak.
To find out more about Sunderland Wall, visit www.sunderlandwall.co.ukMarina
The Sunderland Marine Activity Centre is home to a range of waterside activities, from kayaking to surfing and canoeing to paddle boarding.
Based at Roker Beach, the centre offers a range of group sessions, or those looking for closer support can book privately for one-to-one tuition. Children aged 8 or over are welcome and there is no age limit.