A GREAT deal of time and effort has gone into promoting the virtues of the North-East.

Those of us who live in the region are well aware of its strengths: its beautiful countryside, its world-class workforce, and its passionate, friendly people.

But nothing can help advertise a region quite like sport. And the capture of the Seve Trophy is a huge coup for the North-East in general and the Tees Valley in particular.

To have household names like Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, and Jose Maria Olazabal playing at The Wynyard Club is wonderful to see and the event is sure to bring long-standing benefits.

Just as the England versus Bangladesh Test match and the one-day international against Australia were priceless advertisements for County Durham earlier this year, the Seve Trophy will help spread the word about this area across the world.

One NorthEast estimates that the tournament will inject around £10m into the region's economy, with hotels booked up well in advance and spectators coming from around Europe.

With more than 100 journalists attending, many from overseas, and the event being televised around the world, the long-term value to the region is way beyond the immediate benefits.

Our congratulations go out to all those who turned the dream into a reality. Just like those who brought first-class cricket to Durham, they have underlined the importance of aiming for the stars.