Doddie Aid 2023 achieves £1 million fundraising target in just 11 days

Former Scotland rugby internationals Grant Gilchrist, Rob Wainwright and Pierre Schoemann taking part in Doddie Aid 2023. Credit: Doddie Aid 2023

Organisers of Doddie Aid 2023 have set their sights on a 'record-breaking' fundraising total, after passing their £1 million target just 11 days into the six-week campaign. 

With four weeks left to go, the running total has already eclipsed what was raised in the whole of 2022.

More than 35,000 fundraisers across the UK have already rallied to raise as much money as possible for MND research in memory of Scotland rugby legend and MND campaigner Doddie Weir, who died in November last year at the age of 52.

Jill Douglas, CEO of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Doddie’s close friend, said: "We are absolutely blown away by the amazing efforts of thousands of fundraisers taking part in Doddie Aid 2023 – they are all truly remarkable. 

"The hard work doesn’t stop here – and with four weeks still to go in Doddie Aid 2023 we want as many people as possible to sign up and help raise as much money as we can for vital MND research in memory of the great man.

"Every pound we raise is another step towards his goal of ending MND."

Doddie Weir and former teammate Rob Wainwright at a fundraising event in Edinburgh in 2018. Credit: PA Images

News of the milestone arrives as Olympic gold medal winner Dame Katherine Grainger and former Scotland rugby captain Rob Wainwright announced they will lead a star-studded line up of rowers for the flagship event of the six-week Doddie Aid 2023 campaign – The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta.

Eight teams of celebrities will compete to see who can row the furthest in three hours at the iconic Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh on Saturday 28 January.Six-time rowing world champion Dame Katherine, who won gold in the double sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is among a host of famous faces from rugby, television, music, and the wider sporting world who will be on deck.

Other well-known names joining the event include former Scotland internationals Jim Hamilton, Chris Paterson, and Roger Baird, as well as television stars Jason Fox, Louise Minchin, Jennifer Reoch, and Dougie Vipond.

Dame Katherine, who is also chair of UK Sport, said: "As the first event since Doddie’s death, this year’s event, of course, takes on added significance, and the tens of thousands of people already signed up and racking up miles shows how much people care. 

"The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta is the perfect focal point for Doddie Aid 2023, and will embody so much of what Doddie stood for – hard work and unbridled fun.

"I know Sir Chris Hoy has been pulling out all the stops to get the cyclists involved, so now it’s time for the rowers to make their mark for Doddie!

"It was an easy decision to get involved and support such an important cause spearheaded by the memory of a truly great man.

"There will be some tough moments for everybody, but there is no greater motivation than doing Doddie proud."

Reporter Andrew Misra on Doddie Weir's legacy as an MND fundraiser

In addition, the regatta is open to teams competing remotely across the UK, with participants able to keep up via an online livestream.

Rob Wainwright, Doddie Aid Founder and a former teammate, said: "The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta is particularly poignant as it’s the first Doddie Aid since Doddie’s passing in November, but this only drives us forward to continue making progress and raising awareness of MND.

"It will be incredible to see everyone rallying together at the event, as well as those joining from home, the gym, or anywhere else.

"Doddie started something special, and it is our responsibility to continue his legacy."

Doddie Aid has already encouraged more than 35,000 people to cover four million miles, raising more than £2 million for research projects across the UK.

To find out more and support the Foundation, visit

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