Get on your bike for Poppyscotland

22nd August 2017 Laura Hayward

An annual cycling event, which has already raised more than £50,000 for Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity, is coming back to East Lothian even bigger and better.

Poppyscotland’s Sportive event, which takes place next month (24th) and is open to everyone, will see more than 800 cyclists pedal their way through the county to raise money for the much-loved charity. This event is one of the most important awareness-raising and fundraising events in the Poppyscotland calendar and has grown steadily in popularity since the first Sportive in 2014.

Katriona Harding, Events Fundraising Manager at Poppyscotland and the event’s organiser, said: “I think it’s important for residents to know that unlike other big events in East Lothian throughout the year, our Sportive fundraiser won’t require roads to be closed. Indeed, after working closely with the council, we have only set aside a very small stretch of road in Gifford for a feeding and watering station which is essential for the safety of our riders.

“Our main aim for the event is to keep pedestrians, residents and cyclists safe. We will have experienced event marshals on the ground managing key route locations during the day, to ensure everyone is safe and that this event to raise funds for Scotland’s Armed Forces community is a fantastic success once again.

“To ensure that residents are not disrupted from their weekend activities, we have engaged with Police Scotland, cycling clubs, community councils and the residents themselves to get a sense of what will work best. There are three routes and long stretches of each are very popular with cyclists. What’s more, the race will be staggered to prevent congestion on the roads.

The routes have been developed to suit a variety of levels of experience and fitness. Riders can pick either 45 miles, 68 miles or 102 miles with all routes allowing those taking part to travel along the beautiful East Lothian Golf Coast Road and then back though stunning hills and countryside.

Katriona added: “We have had amazing support from both the cycling community and East Lothian Council over the past four years, helping us grow this event and create a fantastic experience for all of our fantastic fundraisers. We raised £35,000 last year and are hopeful we can break the £50,000 barrier this time around.

“For those not getting on their bikes on the day, there will be lots of activities taking place at Prestonpans Community Centre after the race from noon onwards. We’ll have face painting, colouring in and poppy-making for the youngsters. There will be cheerleading workshops, while Samba band Sambayabamba will help to create a real party atmosphere, so please come along to join the fun.”

Best known for running the iconic Poppy Appeal, Poppyscotland reaches out to those who have served, those still serving, and their families at times of crisis and need by offering vital, practical advice, assistance and funding. The charity believes that no veteran should live without the prospect of employment, good health and a home, and we all have part to play in achieving this.

To find out more about the Sportive please contact Katriona on 0131 550 1578, k.harding@poppyscotland.org.uk or click here.