An 11-year-old karter determined to make her mark in a male-dominated sport is taking the racing world by storm.

Catherine Potter, of Bowburn, near Durham, who has a string of trophies under her belt since taking up karting only a year ago, spoke of her passion and hope of one day reaching Formula 1, as she embarks on two championships this season.

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Driving a Project1 with a 200cc pro extreme engine, capable of speeds of up to 60mkph, Catherine has recently won the Teesside 0 plate championship at Teesside Autodrome and came second in the Cumbrian championships.

Her inspiration is world Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who began his career karting, and she is hoping to encourage more girls to have the confidence to get on the grid.

A pupil at Belmont Community School, Catherine said: “I had my first go on my 10th birthday at an indoor track in Gilesgate. I really enjoyed it, so kept going back.”

Charlie Fagg, a GT3 racer her driving instructor father David helped through his test, agreed to help coach Catherine at Karting North East in Warden Law.

A city running event is extending into a three-day festival featuring some of athletic’s best known names.

The Durham City Run Festival will take place in July and will feature the Prince Bishops 10k and 5k races, as well as new running challenges, films, talks and a new family event being launched by Paula Radcliffe.

North-East athletics legend Steve Cram, who founded the Durham City Run, said: “It’s ambitious for us, it’s the first time we’ve done something like this but running is a massive part of millions of people’s lives.

“Running is something that’s cheap and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter whether people are out to run fast or just to enjoy it – that’s the joy of the sport.”

A teenager hoping to swap her paper round for a spot on Team GB will take part in a fierce tournament this month.

Paper girl Ellie Barker – who has been delivering Northern Echo newspapers for over two years – is preparing to fight in a tournament for the chance to represent Team GB in Muay Thai.

Muay Thai is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that uses the entire body as a weapon.

The Bishop Auckland fighter was introduced to Muay Thai at seven years old by her father Anthony Barker.

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Mr Barker took Ellie and her older sister to the gym to learn them how to stick up for themselves.

He said: “She started off doing MMA (mixed martial arts) as I wanted them to know how to protect themselves and just generally teach them how to be active and healthy but Ellie was a natural. She took to the sport really quickly.

“Even when she first started you could tell straight away she was good, she had the balance and coordination you need.”

Since the 15-year-old took up the sport she has earned world and international titles and is now looking to fight in her dream venue at the Macron Stadium in Bolton.

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An art Deco cinema could be saved under a £30m investment scheme which will also see a new 40-bedroom hotel coming to Redcar.

The proposed scheme includes a revamp of the Regent Cinema, which sits on the sea front, the hotel on the Coatham area.

The ‘Revitalising Redcar’ strategy will secure the future of the town’s much-loved Regent Cinema on the seafront which had to be closed for safety reasons last April.