Gateshead Council is launching a new Special Olympics programme for people with learning difficulties.
The project, which focuses on a range of sports, is the first of its kind in the North East.
It's being officially launched at the International Stadium this morning (May 30).
Athletes across the region are preparing for the Special Olympics national games next week.
The competition is being held in Bath, and thousands of people with learning disabilities will take part.
Those who do well will qualify for the World Special Olympics in Los Angeles in 2015.
Frances Read's full report is below.
The Dumfries and Galloway team have been training for months, and the athletes are now ready for action:
Sandra Proudfoot is the head of delegation for the Dumfries and Galloway team, and she is confident that her team can pick up medals: