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Gateshead children on track for sporting glory

Gateshead International Stadium. Credit: ITV

Approximately 1,200 young people from a total of 48 schools are due to take part in the Gateshead Primary Schools Athletics Festival at Gateshead International Stadium today.

It is the 17th year that the festival has taken place.

The Gateshead Primary Schools Athletics Festival has been a long standing 'flagship event' for the GSSP. It is one of more than 200 events, competitions and festivals organised by the GSSP throughout the year. To have so many schools and children/young people involved demonstrates the importance Gateshead Schools attach to getting their pupils physically active."

– Kevin Hay, Gateshead School Sport Partnership (GSSP)

Newcastle set to appoint Cathro as McClaren's number two

Ian Cathro is set to be appointed as Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren's assistant.

Press Association Sport understands the 28-year-old Scot, who left a similar post at Valencia at the end of last season, has accepted the Magpies' offer to join McClaren's staff after a lengthy search.

Cathro, who started coaching in his teens after injury ended his fledgling playing career, has emerged as a target in recent days and while the club is yet to confirm his appointment, it is understood a deal is now in place.

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Large crowds expected for Northumberland Plate

Thousands of people will be heading to Gosforth, Newastle, as the highlight of the North East racing calendar, the Northumberland Plate, starts today.

Northumberland Plate in 2014. Credit: newcastle-racecourse.co.uk

The Northumberland Plate Festival takes place today, Friday and Saturday and is expected to draw more than 30,000 people to Newcastle Racecourse.

The three day festival culminates with the biggest day of all on the Saturday afternoon when the John Smith's Northumberland Plate is run.

Historically known as the "Pitmen's Derby", this race first ran in 1833 and is as popular today as it was back then.

Wolfsburg mocks Newcastle over Bas Dost pursuit

Newcastle target Bas Dost has been urged to stay where he is by Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking, who cannot understand why he would join the Magpies.

Dost netted 20 goals for Wolfsburg last season. Credit: PA

The 26-year-old Holland international has been linked with a summer switch to St James' Park as new head coach Steve McClaren attempts to rebuild a squad which ended last season battling relegation.

McClaren knows Dost from his time in the Eredivisie, but Hecking is determined to keep the forward in Germany.

He told the Wolfsburger Allgemeine: "Why would he go there? He can play next season in the Champions League with us. He will probably [play in the Champions League] neither in this nor in the next or the next year at Newcastle."

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Sunderland and Newcastle fight for Dutch international

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley is facing a battle to make a summer transfer breakthrough after neighbours Sunderland entered the race to capture one of Steve McClaren's top targets.

It is understood that the Black Cats have made an offer in excess of £11million for PSV Eindhoven's highly-rated midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, a man identified by the Magpies' new head coach as a key acquisition following his appointment earlier this month.

Georginio Wijnaldum is wanted in the North East. Credit: PA

Sunderland counterpart Dick Advocaat himself is understood to have made contact with the Dutch club to register his interest in the 24-year-old Holland international, who scored 14 Eredivisie goals last season as PSV cruised to the title.

In the process, he has firmly thrown down the gauntlet to Newcastle and Charnley, who has been charged with the task of doing the deals by owner Mike Ashley after identifying targets in a series of meetings with McClaren and chief scout Graham Carr.

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North East women help England to World Cup quarter final

Emotional scenes in Canada as England Women's secure quarter final place. Credit: Lynsey Hooper

Two north east girls have fired England through to the quarter finals of the women's World Cup.

Steph Houghton from County Durham and Lucy Bronze from Northumberland got the goals as England came from behind to beat Norway 2-1 and set up a quarter final against the hosts, Canada.

They were joined by fellow former Sunderland players Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott and Carly Telford, as they secured their place in the next round.

Goals from former Sunderland players fired England through to the next round. Credit: Lynsey Hooper

Tour of Britain in Northumberland: route details

Mark Cavendish taking part in last year's Tour of Britain. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Route plans for the prestigious Aviva Tour of Britain cycle race have been announced this morning, including details of two Northumberland stages.

On Stage Four of the tour, the race will start in Scotland and then enter Northumberland heading along a route from Ford to Wooler and Alnwick, before continuing down the Northumberland coastline to finish the leg in Blyth.

The tour re-starts the following morning from Prudhoe with Stage Five, where the race will include a sprint that will take place in Hexham and then a route from Haydon Bridge to Hadrian's Wall.

The race will then head across the Pennines into Cumbria.

The eight-stage race runs from 6-13 September with the Northumberland stages taking place on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 September.

Some of the world's top cyclists are expected to turn up to compete.

Last year Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were both in the 120-rider starting line-up.

We are delighted to be bringing the Aviva Tour of Britain back to the North East and hosting both a Start and Finish in Northumberland for the first time. Stages Four and Five both travel through some fantastic scenery that we look forward to showcasing with the race and hope to see big crowds lining the roadside."

– Mick Bennett, Race Director, Aviva Tour of Britain

The Tour will be broadcast in over 166 countries, including live coverage on the ITV network, and will raise the profile of the county to an international audience.

ITV will screen three-hours of live coverage of every stage, starting on ITV for the opening Wales stage before reverting to ITV4 for Stages Two to Eight.

ITV4 will also screen a one-hour highlights programme each evening during the race.

The world's greatest cyclists will ride through the beautiful and wild landscape of west Northumberland on Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain. It's going to be challenging for the riders and a very exciting day for spectators as the cyclists race through the county's towns and villages passing landmarks such as the River Tyne, Hexham Abbey and the world-renowned Hadrian's Wall."

– Cllr Anne Dale, Northumberland County Council

Football club's new owners revealed later

News of Hartlepool United's future will be announced later Credit: PA Images

Hartlepool United are expected to reveal more details about the club's new owners.

Its majority shareholder, IOR (Increased Oil Recovery) has announced that a takeover has been agreed.

A sale had been decided last December to TMH2014 Limited but it was revealed in February that the deal had fallen through.

Chairman Ken Hodcroft has stepped down and IOR, which bought the club in 1997, will relinquish control.

Hartlepool will start the new season with new owners at the helm after the team's dramatic escape from relegation.

Pools fans are hoping the changes will bring new investment.

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