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Argyll’s first lady of rugby, Dee Bradbury, will be donning her hiking boots once the 2020 Six Nations tournament is over and taking on a challenge far less in her comfort zone.
On March 27, the Scottish Rugby president will join a like-minded 25 brave adventurers, made up of MND research professors, ex-national and international rugby players and friends of Doddie Weir and his Foundation, will head to the High Atlas mountains in Morocco to #MarchForDoddie.
The team will be marching 50km over two half days, and one full day, challenging themselves with gruelling ascents, steep descents and little flat. To cap it all, they will be camping at night, enduring the cold mountain temperatures.
Keeping them going will be the thought that every step they take will raise valuable funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, and through this, will be taking Doddie, who was diagnosed with MND in June 2017, one step closer to his goal of finding a cure.
Dee felt compelled to sign up for the #MarchForDoddie after watching some emotional footage featuring the former Scotland lock at a lunch she was attending.
Despite being ‘terrified’ of what lies ahead the 55-year-old mother of two has found an inner strength through her association with Doddie and his family.
‘He is an iconic former player and the warmth and dignity within the family is humbling,’ she told us.
‘I don’t know if I could ever present like that in the same set of circumstances, which is why I decided to do this.
‘If Doddie and his family can adapt and face their daily challenges with such courage, then to walk 50km in the mountains in Morocco becomes insignificant in comparison.’
Currently fulfilling her role as president of Scottish Rugby Dee flew out to Rome on Monday, ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations clash with Italy, and admits she hasn’t had much time to train for the March.
‘The date of the trek is looming up very quickly and once Six Nations is over, it will be time to go to Morocco,’ she explained.
‘Ideally I’d have liked to tested myself locally on the hills behind my house in Bonawe, but I’ve hardly been home recently.
‘I will have to rely upon my basic fitness, determination and resilience to complete the trek.
‘My husband bought me a great pair of walking boots for my birthday recently. I decided to start breaking them in by a gentle meander in Edinburgh but the hooks on one boot became caught up on the other and I fell flat on my face. Does not bode well!’
The trek itself will be overseen by a reputable trekking company augmented by local experienced Berber guides and over the three days the group will be camping overnight in remote areas where the weather can be very unpredictable.
‘I’ve never contemplated anything like this before, and if it wasn’t for the reasons behind it, I would never have considered it,’ said Dee.
‘I’ve never done anything like this before,so frankly I’m terrified, but I like a challenge.’
And what do her family think of her latest exploit?
‘They think I’m mad, but as always they are supportive of my madness,’ she concluded.
Dee is footing the bill for the trip herself but aims to raise as much money as possible for the cause via her just giving page. Go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dee-bradbury to give her your support.