Jedburgh rugby star Greig Laidlaw and Gordon Paralympian Sammi Kinghorn to lead 2022 Doddie Aid fundraising in Borders

Doddie’s Active Inter-District Challenge is back for seconds, and Borderers Greig Laidlaw and Samantha Kinghorn will be leading its fundraising efforts in the south of Scotland.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 2:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 8:23 am
Doddie Aid 2022 Team South co-captain Greig Laidlaw pictured warming up with current team NTT Communications Shining Arcs in Tokyo in Japan (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
Doddie Aid 2022 Team South co-captain Greig Laidlaw pictured warming up with current team NTT Communications Shining Arcs in Tokyo in Japan (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

Known as Doddie Aid for short, it’s a mass-participation fundraising event launched on Saturday and running until mid-February in aid of Borders rugby legend Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease research and support charity.

Last year’s inaugural campaign saw 22,000 participants raise more than £1m for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, set up by the 51-year-old, of Blainslie, following his diagnosis with MND in 2016, and former Scotland rugby captain Laidlaw, from Jedburgh, and Paralympics star Kinghorn, from Gordon, are hoping they can help top that this time round.

Its format was thought up by Weir’s ex-Scotland and British and Irish Lions team-mate Rob Wainwright and is based on the sport’s old Scottish inter-district championship.

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2022 Doddie Aid Team South co-captain Samantha Kinghorn at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan in September (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

It calls on anyone wanting to support the charity to raise money for teams representing the South, Edinburgh, Glasgow, North and Midlands and Scottish Exiles, rebranded Barbarians this year, by engaging in any form of exercise and logging the distance they cover, either virtually or actually.

Team South finished runners-up in 2021 after clocking up 495,511 miles, with Team North and Midlands’ 667,209 miles securing pole position and Edinburgh coming third on 369,900.

Launching his region’s campaign from his current home in Japan by taking part in Scottish Rugby’s latest podcast, Laidlaw, 36, said: “I’m taking charge of Team South this year.

“Last year over £1m was raised, which was absolutely awesome, and that’s obviously the main reason behind it all.

Doddie Weir with Doddie Aid 2022 Barbarians team captain Gabby Logan in 2019 in London (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for BGC Partners)

“It’s also about having fun and connecting with people at this difficult time, so get your mates signed up.

“Sammi Kinghorn has signed up on board as co-captain with myself and she is going to help us out and bring in a few helpers hopefully.

“She will be racking up the miles as well so I’m super excited to be involved in the South.”

Former Melrose and Newcastle Falcons lock Weir is backing his home team, saying: “Doddie Aid is the perfect way to kick off 2022.

“Last year we had a huge amount of fun, comparing stories and sharing our combined efforts while raising vital funds for targeted MND research and to help support people living with this terrible disease.

“This year I hope everyone gets behind Doddie Aid and joins in.

“We have a shiny new app and some brilliant district captains who will lead the charge.

“I am supposed to be impartial but the Weirs will be joining Team South – bring it on!”

Current Scotland rugby captain Stuart Hogg is also supporting his predecessor, tweeting: “Last year there was over £1m raised and this year we want to blow that out of the water.

“Go online, download the app and hopefully you’re going to pick the district south, captained by the petit general Greig Laidlaw and the legendary Sammi Kinghorn.

“We want you and many, many others to get involved – the more the merrier – and let’s try and find a cure for MND.”

Wainwright, 56, added: “Whenever Doddie is involved, there has to be an element of fun, so Doddie Aid 2022 plans to keep you entertained and exercising from start to finish.

“We kick off with loony dooks across the country, followed by six weeks of running, rowing, round-the-world cycling, nights on Zwift, tartan dog walks with celebrity pooches and more.

“You raised over £1m last time, money that is being directed into MND research and the quest for effective treatments for this terrible condition.

“Let's make it bigger and better this year.”

For further details of the campaign and the new app it’s using to log miles, go to https://doddieaid.com/

So far in 2022, Laidlaw and Kinghorn’s 3,078-strong Team South have raised £61,556, putting them in third place behind Lorraine Kelly’s 4,425 Team North and Midlands members on £88,530 and Gabby Logan’s 3,374 Barbarians backers on £67,820.

Davy Zyw’s 2,429-strong Edinburgh outfit are fourth on £48,721, with Al Kellock’s 2,056 Glaswegians bringing up the rear on £48,721.

This year’s fundraising runs until the Doddie Weir Cup Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff on Saturday, February 12.