Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Year of the Tees to Celebrate an Asset on Our Doorstep

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Year of the Tees to Celebrate an Asset on Our Doorstep

Article excerpt

The remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the River Tees is to be marked in a year of celebrations.

The Tees is at the very heart of our area and the way it has grown to prominence over the centuries. Today it's clean, attractive and makes a perfect leisure base. It is even becoming a nationally-renowned centre for watersports.

We no longer turn our backs on the river, considering it only as a place for shipping, engineering and industry, with all that went with it.

To mark the continuing transformation and raise the river's profile for a host of leisure and development opportunities, a Year Of The Tees has been designated.

The concept will be launched when Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave visits the Tees in May, with the year itself beginning in August 2004.

Local regeneration partnership Stockton Renaissance, working through Stockton Council, will be coordinating a host of activities designed to draw attention to the River Tees and encourage people to make the most of the many things it offers.

The launch event, a day of rowing competition named the Steve Redgrave Charitable Trust Tees Challenge, is on Sunday, May 23. Featuring some of the UK's leading rowing clubs, it plays an important role in focusing attention on the Tees as a top watersports venue.

The visit of five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve, recently voted the BBC's all-time Sports Personality, will enhance the rapidly-growing reputation of the River Tees, which has already hosted World Championships in marathon canoe racing, international powerboat racing and the Commonwealth Games triathlon trials.

He will join with Stockton Council in appealing for local groups to organise events on or alongside the river during the year.

This will open with the European Nations Dragonboat Championships on July 30 to August 1 (coinciding with the 16th Stockton International Riverside Festival). Other events are likely to include opportunities to spectate and participate in various watersports activities, a programme of riverside walks and a host of other events and entertainment on, alongside or connected with the River Tees. …

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