North-East can play it's part in celebrating 2012
6:45pm Friday 29th June 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
ALMOST 300 miles separates Newcastle from the capital, but with a whole host of North-East athletes set to star at London 2012 the area will not let the Greatest Show on Earth pass it by.
And British sprinter Craig Pickering will be on hand this weekend to remind those left at home that they still have a job to do too with Team GB looking to make the most of their home advantage.
With the likes of Jo Jackson and Chris Tomlinson set to shine under the bright Olympic lights this summer, the North East's presence will very much be on show at London 2012.
But although Newcastle United's St James' Park will host a selection of Olympic football matches, the people of the North-East could be thinking that with the capital a long way south, London 2012 is in danger of passing them by.
But 100m runner Pickering, who has been forced to sit out the Games after undergoing back surgery, believes this couldn't be further from the truth.
And the 25-year-old will be at the Metro Centre in Newcastle to prove his point at this weekend's Aviva Roadshow as he promotes their #BackTheTeam campaign.
"I think Aviva's #BackTheTeam campaign is really important and I am more than happy to support it because Aviva have done a lot for British athletics," said Pickering.
"The support Aviva has given in the past has allowed athletes like myself to travel the world for warm weather training and things like that so it is nice to give something back.
"And also it is great to show the people of Newcastle and the North East that they can still play their part in the Olympics.
"Because it is called London 2012 people up and down the country in different areas might not think that the Games applies to them or that they have no affinity with it.
"But events like this really bring the Olympics to the people and shows them that everyone has a part to play as Team GB look to have a very successful summer."
The North East has long been on the map for British athletics with Gateshead International Stadium playing host to a number of competitions.
And Pickering, who lined up against London 2012 medal-hopeful Asafa Powell on his first visit there in 2008, expects the North East to continue to shine a light on British athletics even after the Olympics has been plunged into darkness.
"I have competed at Gateshead a few times and have had some good times there and some bad times too," Pickering said. "Gateshead and Newcastle have done a lot for British athletics already and that won't change after this summer - there is still life at London 2012."
Aviva has been backing the GB & NI team since 1999. Now it's your turn. #BackTheTeam on Twitter or search for Aviva Athletics on Facebook