Sportive cycle raises thousands for appeal

Members of Berwickshire High School charities committee with volunteer Steve Oliver and Sine Ward from Poppy Scotland.
Members of Berwickshire High School charities committee with volunteer Steve Oliver and Sine Ward from Poppy Scotland.

Hundreds of cyclists pedalled their way through Duns and Longformacus on Sunday for one of Poppyscotland’s largest annual fundraisers.

The Poppylong Sportive cycling event saw more than 900 riders take to the streets and hills around Berwickshire in a bid to raise more than £50,000 for the charity.

Volunteers at the Poppylong Sportive event.

Volunteers at the Poppylong Sportive event.

The event offered three circular routes, with the longest, a 102-mile circular route going from Prestonpans in East Lothian down the coast road to Berwickshire and back up over hills and country roads.

Riders taking that route enjoyed hospitality at Berwickshire High School in Duns.

Members of the school’s charities committee provided refreshments.

Returning to the region for the third time, the sportive was first organised in 2014, and has grown in popularity each year since to a point where it is one of the charity’s most important fundraising events.

Team mates enjoy a stop off en route.

Team mates enjoy a stop off en route.

Katriona Harding, events fundraising manager at Poppyscotland and the event’s organiser, said: “We have had amazing support from both the cycling community and East Lothian Council over the past four years, helping us grow this event and create a fantastic experience for all of our fantastic fundraisers.

“We raised £35,000 last year and are hopeful we can break the £50,000 barrier this time around.

“For those who didn’t get on their bikes, there were lots of activities taking place.

“We had face-painting, colouring-in and poppy-making for the youngsters.

Cyclists are cheered along the way.

Cyclists are cheered along the way.

“There were some great cheerleading workshops, while samba band Sambayabamba created a real party atmosphere, so a big thanks to those who came along to join the fun.”

Best known for running the iconic Poppy Appeal, Poppyscotland is the country’s leading armed forces charity and provides support to the veterans’ community.

Money raised by the charity’s year-round fundraising pays for advice, employment, housing, mental health care, mobility and respite for veterans.

The Poppylong Sportive travels towards Duns.

The Poppylong Sportive travels towards Duns.

Poppylong Sportive Duns.

Poppylong Sportive Duns.

Cyclists take in the scenery along the route.

Cyclists take in the scenery along the route.