11 October 2023

Rugby World Cup challenge backs Doddie charity

Carbon Managing Director Gordon Wilson would like to thank family, friends and clients who have supported his goal to complete “Kenny Logan’s Rugby World Cup Challenge.”

Gordon set his sights on pedalling every one of the 600-plus miles from Scottish Gas Murrayfield to the Stade de France in Paris to support the “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.”

He admits it was an emotional finale as the peloton was given a police escort down the Champs Elysee before former Scotland star Kenny carried the match ball for the weekend clash with Ireland onto the pitch with Doddie’s son Hamish by his side.

“With backing from World Rugby, Kenny set his sights on raising £555,555 for the charity established in Doddie Weir’s name to raise money for MND support and research. But with pledges of support still being counted it’s clear that target has been blown out of the water,” said Gordon.

“I set myself a £15,000 fundraising target and donations are still coming in. With match funding from Carbon and the generous backing I have received from so many supporters I’m delighted that has been achieved.

“I have to confess to being anxious about completing the task I set for myself but I actually felt fitter at the end of the challenge than when we left Edinburgh. All the road work in Perthshire paid off.

“The goodwill towards the team Kenny put together was amazing and we enjoyed some great morale boosting receptions along the way.

“It was an emotional roller coaster with several standout moments that will live with me forever, including the ride down the Champs Elysee with police outriders. That was astonishing.”

Gordon admitted his own challenge got off to a bumpy start, with a puncture requiring attention before he even made it to Murrayfield! And he endured a few unfortunate mechanical mishaps which tested the skills of the support team.

Gordon joined a string of celebrities, including Ally McCoist, James Nesbitt, Jamie Bamber, Gabby Logan, Kirsty Gallacher, Jason Fox and Tom Johnson, and businessmen and women from all walks of life, eager to support the Doddie fundraiser.

“Everyone bonded so well, helping team members who maybe hadn’t prepared as well for what was a genuine physical and mental challenge,” said Gordon.

“I was one of only two people who cycled the whole way, with others mixing up the bike with walking segments. That had been my goal right for the first time I talked it over with Kenny back at Christmas.

“It was a truly extraordinary experience. Many of those taking part were much closer to Doddie than myself, whether friends through rugby or farming, so they had invested a great deal emotionally in the challenge.

“On the other hand, David East, a lad from down south, had seen the publicity and decided he wanted to take part as his mum had been diagnosed with MND. He hadn’t been on a bike in years and found it really hard going. But there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when his mum turned up to greet him at the end of one stage at Brighton College, along with 1600 school kids.

“Another participant suffering from MND, Davy Zwy, rode more than 100 miles on day one despite hardly being able to grip the handlebars and he joined us for the final push into Paris. Davy provided the whole group with huge inspiration.

“We were cheered through towns and villages en route to Newcastle because of the Doddie connection; celebrity chef Tom Kerridge fed us all one night; and we were given physio after every leg, which was much appreciated by everyone.

“Ally was with us for the whole week. He had cancelled Champions League commitments because he was so determined to support the event for Doddie. He cycled or walked every single day and there was never a dull moment when he was around.

“Fortunately, the weather was dry apart from one day, although a south west wind was in our faces over the week. That didn’t help.

“It was a proper, tough challenge, just as Kenny had wanted. It’s just a pity for the Scots contingent that the match with Ireland didn’t turn out the way we’d have hoped for.

“But it’s fantastic that we have not only hit the target that was set but have surpassed it, with donations still coming in.

“MND is such a cruel condition and it would be wonderful if all the support being given to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation leads to a breakthrough sooner rather than later.”

There is still time to donate to this worthwhile cause through Gordon's JustGiving page.

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