0131 550 1561 office@veteransscotland.org.uk

Get on your bike for Poppyscotland!

One of Scotland’s top cycling events, which raised almost £50,000 for Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity in 2017, returns for a fifth year – and is even bigger and better. The Poppyscotland Sportive, which was launched in 2014 and voted one of the top three Sportives in Scotland last year by Sportive.com, gives riders a choice of three routes to suit a variety of levels of experience and fitness.

The event, which runs on Sunday, 30th September, and is sponsored by Fred Olsen Renewables, is open to everyone, with riders able to pick routes at lengths of 45, 66 or 100 miles. All three take participants along the beautiful East Lothian coast and then back though its stunning hills and countryside, with the 100-mile circuit also taking riders over the challenging Lammermuir Hills and into the Scottish Borders. The Poppyscotland Sportive is not a closed road event.

A special Centenary addition this year is a timed hill climb just past North Berwick, allowing riders to take on a short sharp hill climb and battle it out to become the ‘King’ or ‘Queen of the Heugh’. More than 1,000 riders are registered to take part – up from around 900 in 2017.

Organiser Katriona Harding said: “Poppyscotland Sportive has sold out each of the past four years and we are nearly sold out yet again. It is one of the most important awareness-raising and fundraising events in our calendar and has grown steadily in popularity since it was first launched in 2014. We have had amazing support from both the cycling community, Police Scotland and East Lothian Council over the past four years, helping us grow this event and create a positive and enjoyable experience for all of our fantastic fundraisers.”

Unlike other large annual events in East Lothian, the Poppyscotland Sportive does not require roads to be closed. Indeed, only a very small stretch of road in Gifford has been set aside for a feeding and watering station which is essential for the safety of our riders.

Katriona added: “Our main aim for the event is to keep pedestrians, residents, road users 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 huge success once again.”

As well as the much-loved cycling event, entertainment will be provided by samba band Son al Son, a seven-piece group featuring musicians from Cuba, Venezuela and Scotland. They can also relax and enjoy post-event tea and toast at Prestonpans Community Centre.

Best known for running the iconic Scottish 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 take part in the Poppyscotland Sportive, or for more information on the event, please contact Katriona Harding, Events Fundraising Manager at Poppyscotland, on 0131 557 2782 or at k.harding@poppyscotland.org.uk.

Photo Caption:- L to R Fusilier Alastair Murphy (21), centre Graeme Findlay (30) and Fusilier Stuart Wheeler (29) with their bikes alongside some of the beautiful Scottish countryside the sportive passes by. SOLDIERS GET ON THEIR BIKES TO LAUNCH POPPYSCOTLAND SPORTIVE Soldiers from 2 SCOTS will ride them on the beaches as they get on their bikes in East Lothian to help launch the 2018 Poppyscotland Sportive. The annual mass participation cycling event aims to raise funds for the leading Armed Forces charity and takes place in the county in September. Last year, more than 700 riders took part, raising nearly £50,000, but, in 2018, Poppyscotland is hoping to hit the 1,000-rider barrier. The Poppyscotland Sportive, which was launched in 2014 and has been voted one of the top three Sportives in Scotland, gives riders a choice of three routes to suit a variety of levels of experience and fitness. New for this year, though, is a timed hill climb in North Berwick (hence the choice of location for this photocall) allowing riders to battle it out to become the King or Queen of the Heugh Hill. The event, which runs on Sunday, 30th September and is sponsored by Fred Olsen Renewables, is open to everyone with riders able to pick routes at lengths of 45, 66 or 100 miles. All three take participants along the beautiful East Lothian coast and then back though its stunning hills and countryside, with the 100-mile circuit also taking riders into the Scottish Borders. It is important to note that the Poppyscotland Sportive is not a closed road event. Organiser Katriona Harding said: ÒPoppyscotland Sportive has sold out each of the past four years and we expect it to be fully subscribed again this year, so we urge people to register early. It is one of the most important awareness-raising and fundraising events in our calendar and has grown steadily in popularity since it was first launched in 2014. 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.Ó 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. ENDSÉ

Notes to editors:

  • For any media enquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact David A. Findlay,
    PR Manager at Poppyscotland, on 0131 550 1580 or 079797 35611, or email at d.findlay@poppyscotland.org.uk.
  • Caption information: Soldiers from 2 SCOTS were happy to ride them on the beaches earlier this year, as they took to North Berwick beach to help launch the 2018 Poppyscotland Sportive. Credit: Mark Owens/Poppyscotland.
  • Sportive is an organised bike ride which follows a planned, sign-posted route, with feed-stops as well as mechanical and medical assistance available during the ride. The Poppyscotland Sportive is a charity fundraising event that starts and finishes at the Prestonpans Community Centre. Around 1,000 cyclists will ride their bikes through the stunning countryside of East Lothian and the Borders. The three Sportive routes take in several towns in East Lothian and the surrounding area, including Prestonpans, Tranent, North Berwick, East Linton, Duns, Gifford, Humbie and Cousland.
  • Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. Please note that we are known as “Poppyscotland”, and not “PoppyScotland” or “Poppy Scotland”. For more information, please visit us at: www.poppyscotland.org.uk.