Cycling team to pedal NC500 for Eilidh’s Trust

Iagan MacNeil and Paul Hughes will take on the iconic North Coast 500 in support of the charity set up in memory of Manchester Arena victim, Eilidh MacLeod, right.Iagan MacNeil and Paul Hughes will take on the iconic North Coast 500 in support of the charity set up in memory of Manchester Arena victim, Eilidh MacLeod, right.
Iagan MacNeil and Paul Hughes will take on the iconic North Coast 500 in support of the charity set up in memory of Manchester Arena victim, Eilidh MacLeod, right.
Two friends and family of Barra teenager Eilidh MacLeod are set to take on the iconic North Coast 500 next week – all in support of the charity set up in her memory.

Iagan MacNeil, a cousin of Eilidh and one of the trustees of the Eilidh Macleod Memorial Trust, and fundraiser Paul Hughes are to be part of a six-strong team from across Scotland and England that will spend seven days – between September 11 and 17 – cycling the Highland circuit to raise money for the trust.

Joining them will be keen Stornoway cyclist Jane Nicolson.

She said: “I am looking forward to getting into the saddle to take on this iconic route and taking in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery. It will be an exciting challenge for us all but one we are all prepared for.

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Stornoway's Jane Nicolson is one of those taking part.Stornoway's Jane Nicolson is one of those taking part.
Stornoway's Jane Nicolson is one of those taking part.

"Our legs will tire but the end goal of supporting young musicians in Eilidh’s name will be the motivation we all need to keep the wheels turning.”

This is the first time a team cycling event has been organised for the charity and all money raised will support the work of the charity ensuring the Eilidh’s musical legacy lives on.

Talented teenager Eilidh MacLeod was killed in the May 2017 terror attack at Manchester Arena along with 21 others.

Eilidh had a love for music, and was a piper in her local Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band.

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In recognition of her ability as a musician and love of music, the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust was set up in 2018 and supports music education for young musicians of all genres and disciplines.

To date, it has funded more than 40 youth music groups and individuals north of the border.

As part of the cycle challenge, the riders will distribute grants to youth music groups along the route to support their teaching and help create music opportunities.

The pair have been taking advantage of the Edinburgh and Lothians path network and proximity to some great outdoor spaces to train for the event.

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Iagan MacNeil, a trustee with the charity and a cousin of tragic Eilidh, said: “What better way of raising money in Eilidh’s memory than setting ourselves an immense challenge of completing the beautiful North Coast 500 in seven days.

“As a charity we have, so far, supported over 40 youth music groups across Scotland ensuring many young musicians can continue to learn and develop their skills.

“The money raised from the 500-mile cycle will help us continue Eilidh’s musical legacy through youth music across the country.”

Paul, who is from Kelso, added: “I am looking forward to getting into the saddle to take on this iconic route and taking in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery.

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“It will be an exciting challenge for us all but one we are all prepared for. Our legs will tire but the end goal of supporting young musicians in Eilidh’s name will be the motivation we all need to keep the wheels turning.

“The hilly surroundings of Edinburgh and the Lothians have been ideal for us to prepare for this challenge.”

Individual JustGiving pages have been set up by those taking part in the challenge. Jane’s can be accessed here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jane-NicolsonNC500