West coast musicians help kick MND into touch

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Musicians don’t have much to sing about at the moment so one six-piece outfit has been tuning into alternative activities and raising money for a worthy cause.

Encouraged by former Scotland rugby captain Rob Wainwright, members of Trail West are taking part in Doddie 2022 in support of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The band are walking, running and cycling as many miles as possible in January while raising awareness about the amazing work done by the charity.

Trail West accordionist Ian Smith said: ‘Seonaidh [MacIntyre], Alain [Campbell] and I took part last year and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and we’ve convinced the rest of the boys – Allan Nairn, Andrew Findlater and Jonathan Gillespie – to take part this year.

‘Most of us are running, but there is also a bit of cycling and walking. Alain and myself will be in action between the mainland and Tiree. I spent the first few weeks of the year in Glasgow, one of the reasons being the strong winds in Tiree at this time of year, so I have been trying to maximise the calmer weather in the mainland. All the others are based in Glasgow.’

Last year the band took part in a competition as part of Doddie Aid 2021 – Team Tradmill’ – Teuchters vs Weegies. The group, which included members of Skerryvore, Manran, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Tide Lines, as well as Highland dancers from Flings and Things, raised £4,135.

Being part of a team really helped with motivation and Ian hopes having all his fellow band members on board this year will have the same effect.

‘We are all looking to feel slightly fitter by the end of the month than we did at the start – which wouldn’t be hard after the New Year shenanigans,’ he added.

‘It’s good to see such a strong connection between the islands and the challenge, in particular both Alain and I’s neighbours in Coll with Rob [Wainwright] cracking the whip over there.

‘The challenge was Rob’s idea. He was Doddie Weir’s former Scotland and British and Irish Lions teammate.

‘Rob also challenged the band along with the islanders of Tiree to a ‘Doddie Dook’ on New Year’s day but unfortunately most of us were in the mainland and didn’t fancy a dook in the Clyde. Quite a few islanders braved the cold in Tiree though.

‘Our main inspiration is to raise as much money as possible for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, raising awareness and helping them to realise its vision of a world free of MND.’

To find out more and/or to donate visit the Trail West Doddie Aid 2022 Just Giving page.

Trail West are taking part in Doddie 2022 in support of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in the fight against MND. NO_T03_TrailWest_DoddieChallenge.