Pont Fest in memory of Simon Bates is to take place in Ponteland in July

The first day will see the Rainbow Run which will see participants pummelled with colourful powder and the second day is a triathlon


He was an adrenaline junkie who lived life to the full before tragically dying descending Mont Blanc.

And to carry on Simon Bates’ memory, a foundation set up in his name is holding its first festival to raise money for sporting charities in the North East.

It is called the Pont Fest which will feature the Rainbow Fun Run, where participants will get pummelled with colourful powder to create happiness and lasting memories.

The two-day event will kick off with the spectacular Rainbow Fun Run on Saturday, July 12, at Ponteland High School followed by the Ponteland Triathlon on Sunday, July 13.

Dubbed “the happiest five kilometres ever”, the Rainbow Fun Run, which is open to people of all abilities, will see over 300 students and families run two separate races – 2k for juniors and 5k for seniors, parents and teachers.

The races involve runners getting covered with colourful powder as they complete the course. The fun continues at the finish line with a gigantic Rainbow Festival, using more coloured powder.

Mick Forster, one of the organisers and Simon’s brother-in-law, said: “For anyone who ever had the pleasure to meet Simon, knew what passion he had for life and adventure.

“He was full of fun and laughter, so a ‘fun run’ where you get covered in bursts of colour would have been right up his street.

“Simon always encouraged everyone to be the best they could be and help others build a better future for themselves by teaching them how to do things on their own.

“The Foundation was set up to support causes that share these values, hence the charities we have chosen to partner with across the Pont Fest weekend.”

The Simon Bates Foundation was set up last year in honour of the 30-year-old who lost his life in an accident on Mont Blanc, France, while on holiday last September.

The festival is being held in Ponteland from where Simon originates, but he was living with girlfriend Kelly Hendry and her son Elijah in Gosforth, Newcastle, when he died.

The two-day festival will honour his legacy and also host a number of bands courtesy of AMV Live Music, along with DJs, drinks, food, fairground rides and other attractions on the school’s grounds on July 12 in a bid to reach the £30,000 goal to raise money for two sports charities.

The festival will conclude with a Triathlon staged by Total Racing International and all money raised will be donated to Hoops for Health – a community programme combining basketball coaching with practical healthy living advice for young people, and Sport Newcastle which offers coaching, funding and support to those seeking to realise their sporting dream.


David Whetstone
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