Return of Doddie Aid 2022
With only three weeks remaining until Doddie Aid 2022 kicks off on the 1st of January on the run-up to the Six Nations Championships, finishing on the 12th of February.
Doddie Aid is an event, which encourages people to get active to raise funds to help fund more research and find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease (MND). Rob Wainwright, former Scotland rugby captain and British and Irish Lion, founder of Doddie Aid, set up the charity for his friend of over 30 years and teammate Doddie Weir, who went public with his diagnosis in June of 2019.
"Doddie always looked for the funny side of life, and the amazing thing is he is still doing that despite the circumstances," Wainwright said. "When we first heard about Doddie's diagnosis, I think we all knew how horrible this disease is, and now I certainly know a lot more about MND than back then. The diagnosis struck a chord with the public. It certainly struck me. I saw an opportunity, like Doddie, to make a real difference." That's how Doddie Aid was created.
When lockdown hit during the period between Christmas and New Year, Wainwright and the team at Doddie Aid saw the numbers of people signing up exceeding what they thought. With over 25,000 participants last year, the team faced difficulties trying to get a hold of more snoods printed with the "Doddie'5" tartan, as they were only expecting to print off at least 5,000. Rob Wainwright's response was: "I would rather have too many taking part than too little.' He hopes to get them even more supporters signing up this month for the events in 2022.
Raising over an astounding £1million last year, Doddie Aid has planned lots of fantastic activities throughout the six weeks. At the start of Doddie Aid on the 1st of January, Rob Wainwright revealed: "We are looking for looney dookers! Where people go open water swimming and jump into local stretches of water, ponds, lochs, etc. - as long as it is safe."
"We also have a dog walking events", Wainwright went on to say: "Our dog walkers are a hugely loyal section of the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation. Also, Andrew Cotter (BBC Scottish sports broadcaster) will be leading the dog walking events." After Cotter's labradors, Olive and Mabel, became very famous during lockdown, as the broadcaster commentated the dog's behaviour.
Many celebrities too take part in Doddie Aid, with Sir Chris Hoy leading virtual bike rides twice a week. Following on from last year, the organisers have decided to do "Around the World in a Day" again, where participants cycle 250 miles in 24 hours, where throughout the day there will be interviews streamed via Zoom, where last year they interviewed players from Scottish rugby, Dame Catherine Granger and the world's strongest man. Even with all of the support from all the celebrities from near and far, Rob Wainwright explained: "That the key thing we learned last year is too top-down recruitment using well-known faces is an important weapon, but actually the secret is to get spreading the event at a grassroots level and getting people not just to sign up to Doddie Aid, but to spread the word to friends and family."
You can sign up for Doddie Aid via their new app, where you sign up for your district, order your snood and make your donation. Where you log in your miles for each exercise you do, whether it is 40 miles cycling, 10 miles running or 2 miles swimming, each and every mile adds up. With the money raised as well, all proceeds go to finding a cure for MND. Wainwright spoke fondly of his friend, Doddie Weir, as he said: "All of the fund-raising, not just from Doddie Aid, but the £11million raised by the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation has been raised by the people out there wanting to do their bit, where that love, support and energy is hugely important to Doddie's coping mechanism."