SPORT is important. From watching to participating, it brings people together.

And it was a massive part of growing up as a child for me and all the athletes I know have stories of taking part in sport from a young age.

It can shape your life.

It teaches us important values

around respect, persistence and resilience, all of which serve us well in life. Possibly even more so now than ever.

Even away from the world of competitive sport I have been moved by how so many got out their running shoes, bikes, rowing machines or found any other way of covering some

distance in support of Doddie Aid over this last month.

Doddie Weir’s foundation has done incredible work on not just raising funds for motor neuron disease (MND) but helping

research and raising awareness

of it.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Davy Zyw from Edinburgh had cycled the North Coast 500 after his own personal diagnosis

of MND and he didn’t just stop there.

He is continually pushing and living life to the full as he inspires so many. This is even more important than ever right now as we face the challenges of Covid-19.

As you sit to read this on your Saturday morning,

Davy and his Edinburgh team along with all the other people who have joined this challenge over

January are doing one last big push for Doddie Aid.

This is part of his Active Inter

District Challenge which has seen five teams go head to head to see who can cover the most miles in January.

Any endurance challenge wouldn’t be complete without Mark Beaumont and I could feel something big was


As I follow from Jamaica

amazed at the miles all

teams have logged and feeling slightly guilty I am out of action after my fall and only down to one fully functioning limb


I was smiling when Mark announced they were bringing back World In A Day.

The idea of World In A Day first took place last year to raise money for the NHS and I remember how just logging into the virtual peloton was a source of inspiration.

For those of you who are not familiar with World In A Day, it’s a 240-mile challenge to replicate a day on the bike that Beaumont did each day in breaking the around-the-world record. An incredible 18,000-mile cycle in 80 days will be recreated from the virtual


Starting at 6am and running through to 8pm, there is plenty of time for you to jump on for a few virtual miles.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to ride the full 240 miles to get

involved. And you won’t be alone – that’s for sure.

With the likes of Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas cycling in the peloton there are some strong wheels to jump on to get pulled along for a few miles.

For me, on a personal level,

this captures the beauty of sport, a reminder that away from competitions and chasing medals sport really has the power to bring people together and to make a difference.

Suffering from paralysis I can’t begin to imagine what a diagnosis of MND must be like and any breakthrough in research when it comes to

neurological conditions promises

to be both life changing and life saving.

I remember in 2014 as I lay recovering from surgery in the neurological ward a very fit athletic man was told he had MND in the bed opposite me.

I remember our conversation when doctors pulled back his curtain and left the room. That moment will stay with me for life.

There are more than 1500 people a year in the UK diagnosed with MND and half die within two years of diagnosis, so to read that Dr Arpan at the University of Edinburgh had made a breakthrough in his studies into MND just highlights how important events like Doddie Aid are.

So my challenge to you this week is simple: if you have a way of joining the virtual

peloton before 8pm today, dig out that sports kit and go and do a few miles.