24th September 2017 Fraser Bedwell

Almost 900 riders took to the streets and hills of East Lothian today (Sunday, 24th September) as part of the annual Sportive cycling event and helped to raise tens of thousands of pounds for Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity.

Poppyscotland’s Sportive is one of the most important awareness-raising and fundraising events in the charity’s 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: “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. A massive thanks also to Fred Olsen Renewables. Their support ensured that all of the entry fees, together with additional sponsorship, went directly to Poppyscotland.

“For those who didn’t get on their bikes, there were lots of activities taking place at Prestonpans Community Centre. We had face painting, colouring in and poppy-making for the youngsters. There were some great cheerleading workshops, while Samba band Sambayabamba created a real party atmosphere, so a big thanks to those who came along to join the fun.”

There were three routes on offer, which were developed to suit a variety of levels of experience and fitness. Riders picked 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.

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.