Connor Toghill, the Tyne and Wear Karting champion, is training at Sunderland University to improve his fitness, stamina, reaction times, balance and flexibility.
The training has knocked a second off his racing lap time.
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A look ahead at a lively start to the weekend
2,000 children from more than 100 primary schools flocked to Sandhaven at South Shields for the annual Sandcastle Challenge.
Sunderland is set to welcome the world famous Tall Ships race in July 2018. Now, it has been given the honour of starting the race.