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Night after night since the end of February, the news cycles on our televisions and radios have broadcast terrible images and sounds of war as Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine continues.
And it was those television news reports that prompted two Lundavra Primary School pupils to try and do something to help those most affected by the conflict.
Brother and sister, Ruairidh and Grace MacMaster, of the Fort William school’s P7 and P5 respectively, opted to raise money for those in need by staging their very own triathlon which raised a staggering £2,500.
For their triathlon, Ruairidh swam two-and-a-half miles, while Grace swam half a mile. The kind-hearted youngsters both ran two miles and they both cycled 19 miles to make a total of just over 44 miles.
Ruairidh told the Lochaber Times: ‘We were inspired after watching the news on the TV. It was very upsetting to see families suffering due to the horrible war in Ukraine. We wanted to raise money to help people who needed it during this terrible time.
‘We decided to do a long, challenging 44-mile triathlon which represents the population of Ukraine – 44 million. We created a Just Giving page and emailed businesses across Lochaber.
‘With lots of support and donations we raised a total of almost £2,500 for UNICEF which helps support families all around Ukraine.
The Ben Nevis Inn, The Highland Bookshop, Nevis Cycles, Off Beat Bikes, Nevis Bakery, Lochaber Garden Services and Sammy’s Fish and Chip Shop [which also gave us a free fish supper at the end] all donated and we were delighted to make all this money to help Ukrainian families.’
Elsewhere, another fundraising effort in aid of Ukraine will be staged in the Nevis Centre at 7pm on Saturday May 14.
All the musicians taking part are performing for free, but the event is still going to cost £1,250 to put on plus another six per cent on 300 of the tickets (there are another 200 to be sold at the Highland Cinema, but it will not charge any percentage.)
One of those behind the event, Anne Rowan, told us this week: ‘The people who are appearing are Aonghas Grant, Ann Martin, Jim Michie, Fergus Munro, John Whyte’s Blues Band, Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, Lochaber’ Schools’ Pipe Band, Angus Nicolson, Brian Hepburn, Mick Tighe and The Lochaber Pipe Band and possibly, Fergie MacDonald, if he has recovered from his knee operation.
‘As you can see it is a very, very good line up and I hope that they will make it possible for a good donation to go to the people in Ukraine.’