It has raised more than £200,000 for the country's Armed Forces community, and now Poppyscotland's nationally-renowned sportive is set to return for a sixth time later this year.
The annual fundraising event in East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, which takes place this year on Sunday, 29th September and attracts more than 1,000 riders, is being sponsored by renewable energy firm Fred. Olsen Renewables, which today renewed its sponsorship commitment to the event.
In attendance to help launch this year's Poppyscotland Sportive was the organisation's UK Operations Manager, Stuart Naylor, who is himself taking part in the ride.
Speaking at the Crystal Rig Wind Farm, on the Lammermuir Hills, near Dunbar, in East Lothian, Stuart said: "Poppyscotland provides an invaluable service for the Armed Forces community, and, speaking as a former RAF Serviceman, I feel immensely proud that Fred. Olsen Renewables not only recognises these efforts, but will be able to help raise much-needed funds and awareness of the charity through sponsorship of this year's sportive.
"In developing a long-term relationship with Poppyscotland, we have been able to ensure that all money raised at the sportive will be spent directly on the charity's many great initiatives."
Fran Tierney, 52, a keen cyclist and member of the Poppyscotland Sportive committee, said: "I have participated in this event for the past two years and absolutely love it. I am a member of Kinross Cycling Club and last year I tackled the 100-mile route, which was an interesting challenge due to the wind! But after finishing, the hot drink and toast brought a big smile at the end to a great day.
"As a new member of the Sportive committee, I will now be helping on the day of the event - and I can't wait. Each of the three routes offers a unique cycling experience for both club and recreational cyclists. The scenery is amazing with a mixture of coast and country with rolling hills. If you have a bike, I definitely recommend this event for your diary."
Poppyscotland's Katriona Harding, who organises the event, said: "Today is all about telling cyclists across the country that your much-loved sportive is back again. The sportive is always a sell-out event, so we encourage participants to sign up as soon as possible.
"It is a privilege for us to have Fred. Olsen Renewables on board as our sponsor again this year - and for the next two years as well. Along with their support, and the generosity of those taking part, the Poppyscotland Sportive has raised an incredible £211,717 which goes directly to our Welfare Services team as they work tirelessly to support veterans throughout the country. What's more, 100 per cent of the sign-up fee and any sponsorship raised by participants goes directly to Poppyscotland.
"Finally, I think it's important to let residents in East Lothian know that the Poppyscotland Sportive is not a closed-road event. It has been designed by our committee of experienced local cyclists to cause as little disruption as possible and we are in regular contact with a number of community councils, but, of course, I would welcome any feedback from the public."
Best known for running the iconic Scottish Poppy Appeal, Poppyscotland reaches out to those who have served, those still serving, and their families at times of crisis and need by offering vital, practical advice, assistance and funding. The charity believes that no veteran should live without the prospect of employment, good health and a home, and we all have part to play in achieving this.
To take part in the 2019 Poppyscotland Sportive, or for more information, please contact Katriona Harding, Events Fundraising Manager at Poppyscotland, on 0131 557 2782, or at [email protected], or visit the event website at www.poppyscotland.org.uk/sportive.