Scottish rugby clubs raise thousands for My Name’5 Doddie in 555 cycle
Two teams of members and former players from Lasswade and Annan RFC have completed this year’s Doddie Aid cycling challenge, the Doddie Cup 555.
Each team, comprised of eight cyclists, took part in the guelling Cardiff to Edinburgh cycle ride, fundraising for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
The cycle was a continuous ride with the cyclist’s riding day and night, having at most six hours sleep over the challenge.
Led by Rob Wainwright and a team of rugby legends, around 200 cyclists from across the UK rode 555 miles from Cardiff to Edinburgh in just over 55 hours.
The challenge culminated in the group delivering the match ball to BT Murrayfield for Scotland v Wales Guinness Six Nations match.
The 200 cyclists raised an incredible £800,000 for the foundation, contributing to the £2 million total raised over the Doddie Aid challenge.
Of that total, the Lasswade team have raised almost £17,000 and the Annan team have raised over £40,000, with donations continuing to pour in.
Cycle teams left the Principality Stadium in Cardiff at 8am on Thursday 9 February, taking a route through the Welsh hills, stopping briefly at Kidwelly, Llandovery and Llandidloes Rugby clubs, and a ‘sleep’ stop at Welshpool.
Leaving Welshpool around 5am, the schedule for day two routed the teams through the Dales to Wrexham FC, Orrell RFC and Wharfedale RFC with another stop for shut eye at Darlington FC.
The final day saw the teams leaving Darlington at midnight, arriving at Alnwick RFC to the sound of Bagpipes at 4am, cheered and piped into Dunbar RFC by 10am before winding their way through Edinburgh to the Raeburn place finishing point at 1pm, before delivering the match day ball to BT Murrayfield.
The Lasswade RFC team members included: Craig Adam, Colin Brown, Andy Cannon, Michael Farquhar, Kevin Greig, Sean Hadden, Craig Mackay and Scott Walkingshaw.
Former Scottish Rugby President and Lasswade RFC President, Ian Barr also joined the ride, cycling with Rob Wainwright.
Joining the Annan RFC team were: Dek Reive, Craig McCann, Graham Hogg, Sean Buckley, Thomas Buckley, Barry Graham, Roy Thorburn, Tam Sloan.
Whilst all involved have been huge admirers of the great man, Doddie Weir, the Lasswade team had some additional personal motivations for taking part in this mammoth challenge.
Lasswade team captain, Craig Mackay instigated the adventure after his father was diagnosed with MND in 2022.
Kevin Greig, Vice President at Lasswade RFC sadly lost his mother to MND 17 years ago.
Speaking to Scottish Rugby in the aftermath of the challenge, Craig said: “I am hugely proud of the team, of their grit and determination to complete the challenge and individually achieve completing far longer distances than they’d anticipated doing. Already the team are considering the next challenge to take part in.
“My own personal challenge was my cycling ability however, over the event the team’s greatest challenges were the night-time riding and lack of sleep.
“Everyone who donates to the charity and takes part in challenges like this has made a difference, but the fight goes on and I will be continuing to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation until I’m physically unable to do it anymore.”
As team captain for Annan, Billy Henderson, has been the driving force for the team taking part this year.
“I took part in the cycle last year with the Isle of Coll team. This year, I hassled Rob Wainwright to allow an Annan team to enter. His only request was that we were ‘high octane fund raisers'”, said Billy.
“Our fundraising started on in the New Year when we arranged a Scottish Farmer Select v Annan with players coming from Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Biggar and Stirling to play.
“We also had a talent night with members of the biking team doing a entertainment slot.
“During the Doddie Cup 555 challenge, spirits were high most of the time. We were a little bit grumpy leaving Darlington at midnight on Saturday morning with no sleep and 170 miles to go, but plenty of banter between the teams kept us going, along with the hospitality at all the stops.
“For me Kidwilly Rugby Club having the primary school singing songs for us was a highlight, but the top memories was biking into Charlotte Square, first team there, what a reception we got, made us feel like heroes – we aren’t, but are humbled to be able to help raise funds for Doddie.
“I had a tear in my eye when I addressed my team and crowd with a few words of wisdom b4efore the main riders arrived.”
Lasswade continue to raise funds through a raffle, of which details can be found on their Facebook page, HERE.