Polmont firm helps organise Lions Trek for Doddie event to support MND charity
A Polmont-based tour operator has shared its pride after being tasked with planning and supporting a 32-mile hike in aid of ex-Scottish rugby player Doddie Weir and those like him battling motor neurone disease.
EasyWays Walking Scotland was thrilled to play a part in the organisation of the Lions Trek for Doddie event, which involved a 55-strong fundraising team comprised of former British and Irish Lions and famous faces from television.
Among the pack who marched from Doddie’s spiritual home, Melrose Rugby Club in the Scottish Borders, to Murrayfield Stadium were rugby legends Kenny Logan, Andy Nicol, Alan Tait, Rob Wainwright, Jason White and Simon Shaw.
Broadcaster Jill Douglas, Scotland international Stuart Grimes and former Royal Marine Commando and Special Forces Sergeant Jason Fox from Channel 4’s hit series SAS: Who Dares Wins also laced up their walking boots to support MND sufferers.
EasyWays had been approached by Logan Sports Marketing as the company sought assistance with the logistical side of the fundraiser on June 25, the day before the Lions faced Japan at the home of Scottish rugby.
The Polmont firm’s expertise ensured participants had a relatively smooth, if demanding, route from the Borders to Edinburgh as the group made their way north via West Linton, Balerno and The Water of Leith.
So far, the event has raised more than £175,000 for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.
Andrew Fernie, EasyWays owner, said: “I got a call in February asking if we could do such a thing and I took it from there.
“It was a prestigious job to get and we met Doddie in Melrose. I had to have a look at the most direct route – that would’ve been on the roads, but it would’ve been chaos.
“It was wonderful. I went down a month before the walk and covered the route along with the local guide, Heather McWalter.
“We were well looked after because Canterbury, who supplied all the walking gear, is such a high-profile company. They were amazing.
“There was logistical support with minibuses and we only had three stops over the whole 32 miles. It was a fantastic day out and, being in the company of former British Lions, it was a great thing to be involved in.
“A fantastic effort by all and one that was well rewarded with ‘refreshments’ at the end.
“It goes without saying that EasyWays was delighted to be involved in such a worthy event in close participation with Logan Sports Marketing, Georgie Sangster and her wonderful logistical support team.”
EasyWays, which was founded in 1996, provides walking tours all over Scotland, as well as Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Like fellow businesses in the travel industry, it’s found the past 18 months extremely challenging but its owner is pleased to once again be offering trips post-lockdown, with bookings scheduled over the coming weeks for Shetland and Orkney.
Andrew added: “We’ve been tripped up by the government putting different numbers on availability or travel restrictions.
“In a typical year we’d be taking 800 walkers from all over the world.”
Click here to donate to the Lions Trek for Doddie event.