A new initiative has been launched to encourage more youngsters to get fit and active on their bikes.
Former prime minister Tony Blair visited Morpeth Road Primary School in Blyth on Monday to help formally launch the new Bike4Health partnership.
But he was also on hand to celebrate the achievements of young people who have been part of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation (TBSF).
Mr Blair met coaches, volunteers, students and school teachers to talk about their stories of participating in sport through the foundation – both how they have become more involved in sport and how they have helped others to get involved too.
He said: “I’ve been lucky to spend a lot of my time in the north east over the years and I know the quality of the people here. I am delighted that, since 2007, our foundation has recruited, trained and placed over 4,400 new coaches in schools and clubs, right across the north east.”
The partnership with Bike4Health at the school will widen participation and promote cycling in the community.
Mr Blair said: “Being involved in sport, showing commitment to being part of a community and challenging yourself to get better can completely change a child’s life.
“It can help improve school performance, and can keep young people on the straight and narrow.
“The north east has one of the worse levels of health in England, so we have to give our young people the chance to transform their futures, build their confidence and be part of a community.”