Borders rugby hero Stuart Hogg’s south team second on Doddie Aid 2023 leaderboard with £163,000 fundraising total
Money generated by six weeks of running, rowing, riding and other exercise activities by almost 40,000 fundraisers for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has now been added up and found to be more than double last year’s total.
This year’s Doddie Aid, as it’s known for short, was the third but the first since the death in November at the age of 52 of the man it’s named after, Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir, following a six-year fight against MND.
This year’s effort takes the total raised by Doddie Aid – devised by Weir’s old Scotland team-mate Rob Wainwright and based on rugby’s Scottish inter-district championship, set to make a comeback in May after 20 years in abeyance – over three years to more than £4m.
This year’s edition of the mass-participation event, calling on those involved to log miles while exercising, concluded with Wainwright and other rugby legends cycling 555 miles from Cardiff to Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium to deliver the match-ball used in Scotland’s 35-7 defeat of Wales in the Six Nations for the Doddie Weir Cup on Saturday.
That ride, undertaken by more than 200 cyclists, raised nearly £700,000 on its own, almost £11,000 of that collected by a team led by another ex-team-mate of Weir’s, Craig Chalmers.
Former Scotland captain Wainwright, 57, said: “When we first started to design the event, we never thought it would have this much impact.
“The way people have rallied around to make this such an incredible fundraiser is beyond our wildest dreams, but it doesn’t stop here. After a short break, we’ll go straight into planning for Doddie Aid 2024, which we believe can be even bigger.”
The foundation’s director of fundraising, Paul Thompson, added: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped to raise this incredible sum of money, which we will be able to commit to groundbreaking research into MND.
“It was our first Doddie Aid since Doddie’s death, and the response has been immense. What’s even more heartening is how many people are planning to do major fundraisers in the months ahead.
“We won’t stop until we’ve delivered Doddie’s legacy of a world free of MND.”
The team for the south of Scotland, including the Borders, captained by current Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg, ended up second to ex-Olympic curler Muirhead’s north and midlands team on the challenge’s leaderboard, with £162,618 raised by 7,678 supporters clocking 773,420 miles. Muirhead’s team’s 8,534 members clocked 1,096,180 miles to raise £185,478.