Edinburgh cyclists to pedal 500 miles for charity launched in memory of Manchester bombing victim Eilidh MacLeod

Two Edinburgh-based cyclists are set to take on the iconic North Coast 500 next week – all in support of the charity set up in memory of a 14-year-old girl who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack.

Talented teenager Eilidh MacLeod, from the Isle of Barra, was killed in the May 2017 terror attack 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.

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.

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

Now, charity trustee Iagan MacNeil and fundraiser Paul Hughes will 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Paul, who is originally from Kelso, 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.

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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.”

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Iagan MacNeil, a trustee with the charity and who is originally from Barra where Eilidh grew up, added: “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.

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

Donations can be made to their fundraising pages via JustGiving: Paul Hughes fundraising and Iagan MacNeil's fundraising.

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