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Organisers promise ‘biggest and best’ Great East sporting events as registration opens

PUBLISHED: 07:20 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 07:20 04 March 2020

Suffolk Mind has been announced as this year's charity partner for the Great East Run and John West Great East Swim  L-R Ginny Idehen from Suffolk Mind, Katie Roberts, the Suffolk Mind dragon, Jon Neal and Craig Bullard  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Suffolk Mind has been announced as this year's charity partner for the Great East Run and John West Great East Swim L-R Ginny Idehen from Suffolk Mind, Katie Roberts, the Suffolk Mind dragon, Jon Neal and Craig Bullard Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Organisers of two of Suffolk’s biggest sporting events are promising the “biggest and best” days yet as registration officially opened.

Ipswich Town players James Norwood and Jack Lankaster with the Suffolk Mind dragon  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDIpswich Town players James Norwood and Jack Lankaster with the Suffolk Mind dragon Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Suffolk County Council leader James Finch said he hopes the Great East Run and John West Great East Swim will highlight the relationship between physical activity and good mental health, thanks to a new charity partnership with Suffolk Mind.

The events start with the swim at Alton Water on June 20, which sees people of all ages take to the water in distances of between 250m to 10km, while the Anglian Water site is transformed into an event village and farmers' market.

Three months later, the Great East Run will see runners weave their way through Ipswich town centre and the Suffolk countryside before returning to Portman Road Stadium.

The half marathon regularly sells out, making it one of the biggest events on the regional sporting calendar.

It is hoped the events will highlight the relationship between fitness and good mental health  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDIt is hoped the events will highlight the relationship between fitness and good mental health Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

But aside from keen runners, swimmers and families, also among those taking part this year are those who have required the support of Suffolk Mind.

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One of those people, 19-year-old Katie Roberts from Lavenham, said she will be completing the swimming event to give back to the charity who helped her through harder times.

Ms Roberts said: "People looked at me and thought I was always happy, and I didn't want anyone knowing I was struggling - so having a platform like Suffolk Mind where you can get help and advice straight away, really helped me.

"I wanted to challenge myself to do this for Suffolk Mind, as it is a way of meeting my need for meaning and purpose and I want to support them like they supported me through my tough times."

Last year, 6,000 participants helped to raise an estimated £200,000 for good causes.

Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind, added: "We're so pleased to be partnering with Suffolk County Council to offer people the opportunity to take part in two big sporting events for Suffolk Mind.

"Fundraising through activities such as the Great East Swim and the Great East Run helps us in our mission of making Suffolk the best place in the world for talking about and taking care of mental health."

For more information on how to register for the events, visit the organiser's website.

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