Rugby fever is set to hit Stonehaven this Saturday (August 25) when an eight-team tournament will take place to raise funds for Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease (MND) charity, the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Teams from across Scotland will take part in the event, held at Mackie Academy, with six former Scotland internationalists with almost 200 caps between them - including a British & Irish Lion - competing on the day.
The tournament is being organised by a group of Stonehaven residents under the banner ‘STRIVE’ and follows a five-day, 700 mile fundraising cycle which took place earlier this month and raised £30,000 for the campaign.
The rugby tournament will be supported by various fund-raising activities, a BBQ, kids entertainment, marquee with live music from local artist Alannah Moar and Aberdeen band Reloaded, and a mini beer festival.
The Calcutta Cup, which is presented annually to the winner of the Scotland versus England 6 Nations game, will also make an appearance at the Mackie FP kids open day earlier in the day. There will also be an opportunity for the kids to get some coaching tips from the ex-Scotland players in attendance.
The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was set up by Mr Weir last year after he was diagnosed with MND. It funds research into the causes of the disease, while making grants to individuals suffering from it to enable them to live as fulfilled lives as possible.
Competing at the event are: Mackie Academy, King Penguins, Howe Of Fife, Pigbarians, Ellon, BRUCE, Orkney and an Aberdeen select team.
Caledonia CLAN, a rugby team which allows players with mental or physical challenges to compete alongside the able-bodied, will also feature in an exhibition match.
The former Scotland players making an appearance are Nikki Walker, Barry Stewart, Marcus Di Rollo, Stuart Grimes, Kevin McKenzie and former British & Irish Lion, Tom Smith.
Willie Tulloch of STRIVE said: “There’s no doubt that we are set for a fantastic day of rugby as well as a fun atmosphere for people to come along and enjoy themselves.
“There will be so much going on at the school, not just the tournament, that you don’t need to be a rugby fan to come along. If you do enjoy the sport though then you’re in for a real treat.
“We are delighted to be welcoming many rugby greats on the day and we’re looking forward to some healthy competition between the teams.
“Doddie Weir was a talismanic rugby player and continues to be a wonderful ambassador for the sport. He has tackled his diagnosis with MND head on and his efforts, as he was in his day on the rugby pitch, is nothing short of inspirational. Like the rugby community and beyond, Strive is doing what we can to support him in raising awareness of the condition.
“Through our fundraising efforts, we also hope to be able to aid research into a cure for MND, while helping those suffering from the disease to live as fulfilled a life as possible.
“So whether people want to come and watch the rugby or come along and enjoy a beer and live music, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a great day!”.
A charity ball held on Saturday, September 22nd at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe will conclude the group’s fundraising efforts.
For more information about STRIVE visit www.strive.buzz
More information about My Name’5 Doddie Foundation can be found at myname5doddie.co.uk