KETTLEBELL lifters from as far afield as Australia and Switzerland descended on Darlington College for the North-East Open at the weekend.

Around 50 lifters competed across a range of lifting classes, including over 40s and junior categories.

Co-organiser Ste Gordon of the Tunova Kettlebell Club based at Albert Hill in Darlington said the competition was a success.

He said: "It went really well; the team from Darlington did a really fantastic job and there was a great atmosphere."

Mr Gordon said his club was keen to involve more youngsters in the sport and is working with several schools in Darlington to promote the health benefits of kettlebell lifting.

This has resulted in Mount Pleasant School becoming the first to set up its own after-school kettlebell club.

Mr Gordon said: "On Saturday we had more than ten compete in the juniors which I think is probably one of the highest amounts in a UK competition and most were from our club."