Melrose clubmates set out on coast to coast challenge for Doddie

A team of former Melrose rugby players and club members are about to take on a multi-discipline fundraising challenge in aid of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 9:23 am
Doddie Weir (picture by Neil Hanna)
Doddie Weir (picture by Neil Hanna)

Scott Wight, Allan Dodds, Barbara Shiel, Steven Shiel, Mathew Wilkie, Wayne Mitchell, Jamie Murray and Rory Murray will begin their 174-mile challenge at midnight on Saturday, aiming to reach the finish line by 11.59pm.

Starting at Portpatrick on the west coast and finishing at Cove on the east, the route encompasses the start and finish points of the Southern Upland Way, as well as other parts of the walking route.

The journey will be broken up into a number of stages, ranging from a 90.3 mile cycle to a 2.3 mile kayak. The group will also have some running and walking stints in between.

Former Scotland Sevens player and current head coach at Selkirk, Scott Wight, told “We knew we wanted to have a fundraising element to the challenge. It's been amazing to see so many people do something for Doddie this year and, given our group's links to Melrose and Doddie's history, it was the obvious choice. We're all certainly looking forward to doing our bit with this challenge. It’s going to be tough, but it'll be a great day.”

Aware of the task that lies ahead, the team of eight have been training for the challenge since the beginning of the year. The group will be followed by three support vehicles, which will keep everyone fed and watered, plus they’ll be carrying a couple of replacement bikes in case they experience any mechanical issues.

The group members, who all have links to Melrose RFC – the club which shaped part of Doddie’s early playing career – also share in their desire to contribute to the fight against motor neurone disease. “MND is a terrible disease,” said Wight. The courage Doddie has shown since his diagnosis in 2016, along with the massive amounts of money he has helped raise for vital research through the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, has been a real inspiration. So far, we've raised over £9000 towards our £24,000 target, which is fantastic. We’re grateful to everyone supporting the challenge.”