Pupils at Kelvinside Academy are to take part in a challenge which will see them log miles at learn-from-home PE classes to support Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research.

Inspired by rugby legend Doddie Weir, the Glasgow school will take part in The Doddie Gump which calls on participants to log exercise miles to raise money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

The school will put this into its online curriculum for all pupils for P7 to S6.

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It’s hoped the move will encourage pupils away from screens and out of homes to exercise in a more fun and inspiring environment during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. 

The Doddie Active Inter-District (Aid) Challenge is the brainchild of Doddie’s former Scotland and British and Irish Lions teammate, Rob Wainwright, and sees rugby’s old Scottish inter-district championship dusted off and its five teams – the South, Edinburgh, Glasgow, North and Midlands and the Scottish Exiles – resurrected to see which can clock up the most miles.

Any form of exercise counts towards the total, from running to rollerblading, cycling or just adding up daily steps. Kelvinside Academy pupils will add their miles to their school’s total using a campaign app, which will then contribute to the Glasgow district effort. With other schools joining up every day, it’s expected there will be a bit of friendly competition between schools. The winning district will be announced on February 6.

HeraldScotland: Ellie Rowand (17), pupil at Kelvinside Academy, and Kelly Brown, who won 64 caps for Scotland.Ellie Rowand (17), pupil at Kelvinside Academy, and Kelly Brown, who won 64 caps for Scotland.

Thomas Davidson, a member of Kelvinside Academy’s PE department, said: “We have worked hard to ensure we retain physical activity within the day-to-day schedules of our pupils even when learning from home.

“Celebrities like Joe Wicks have been excellent in encouraging the nation to keep active during lockdown, particularly at times when traditional forms of exercise have not been possible. 

“However, as distance learning continues, it is vital for pupils to get away from screens and out of their homes to exercise, and by incorporating the Doddie Gump challenge into the Kelvinside Academy curriculum, we hope to introduce an element of fun and competition that will inspire pupils to go the extra miles.”

Dan Wyatt, Kelvinside Academy Rector, a former PE teacher, added: “Our pupils are excited to have this challenge ahead as we start remote learning on MondayMotivation is so important right now.

“By adding an extra element of friendly rivalry through the Doddie Gump challenge, we can make a big difference to our pupils’ health, fitness and wellbeing, and also raise money for incredible cause.

“We have made this move as we believe physical education is just as important as academic lessons as pupils learn from home, and hope other schools too will follow our lead. Who better to inspire classes than Doddie Weir – the nation’s PE teacher. Come on Glasgow!” 

Former Scotland and Glasgow Warriors star Kelly Brown is a captain of the Glasgow inter-district effort, and joined S6 pupil and KA Hockey Captain Ellie Rowand (17) for the launch of the school’s challenge. 

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The former Scotland captain said: “Kelvinside Academy has shown true commitment to the Glasgow district cause, and we are delighted to welcome their support. Anything that provides more motivation for youngsters to get fit, active and healthy is a massive plus, and by adding Doddie’s famous sense of fun too, we can raise as much money as possible for his foundation.” 

Doddie Weir, 50, said: “Doddie Aid! What better way to start 2021! The inter district championship was a tremendous and highly competitive tournament: reigniting these tribal rivalries is a fantastic idea and I hope you all get involved.”

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded by former Scotland International and British and Irish Lion, Doddie Weir, was set up in 2017 following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease. 

To get involved, potential participants should go to www.doddieaid.com to find out how to join their chosen district and also get a free team snood. All exercise miles should then be recorded via a campaign-specific app.




Pics are of Ellie Rowand (17), pupil at Kelvinside Academy, and Kelly Brown, who won 64 caps for Scotland.