The virtual mass-participation exercise event Doddie Aid, founded in 2020 by former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright, will start on January 1.
A memorial service was held on Monday for former Scotland rugby star Weir, who died last month aged 52 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease (MND).
Doddie Aid is the biggest annual fundraising event of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which Weir launched in 2017 to further research into the disease.
The Doddie Aid event splits participants into six districts, with the winning district being the one that covers the furthest distance over the duration of the six-week challenge, whether by walking, cycling, running, rowing, or any other means.
Former Scotland rugby players Andy Nicol and John Barclay are among those who have signed up to take part in 2023, as has Davy Zyw, who has been living with MND for four years and this year completed a 260-mile continuous cycle along some of Scotland’s highest roads.
Jill Douglas, chief executive of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “We are overwhelmed by the huge number of people who have already signed up for this year’s Doddie Aid. It’s a real testament to Doddie’s legacy that he has inspired so many people to make a difference and help others living with MND and to one day find a cure for this disease.
“Doddie Aid has become a regular and hugely popular way to kick off 2023. With over 9000 people already signed up, I think this will be the biggest Doddie Aid yet.” ”
Speaking at the memorial service in Melrose earlier this week, Wainwright urged people to sign up to help “keep Doddie’s fundraising legacy alive”.
He said: “Actively nag your friends, your colleagues, your club, your school, your business and your family to get involved. If 50,000 people sign up, that’s £1 million for research. That is how we fulfil Doddie’s legacy, and that must be Doddie’s trophy.”
Doddie Aid has helped to raise more than £2m for MND research, with more than 35,000 participants covering four million miles since its launch in 2020.
Weir’s former teammate Scott Hastings said: “We have the brightest scientific minds who will find a cure for this disease, but the research needs resources and it needs funds – your funds. We will raise as much as we can until we can find a cure for MND.”
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Social Care was accused of withholding the research funding following the death of the former Scotland rugby international last month. More than a year ago the Government committed at least £50m to help find new therapies, and eventually a cure, for MND.
A petition was launched following the death of Weir calling for a stand at Murrayfield to be named after him.
Anyone interested in taking part can find out more at https://doddieaid.com/about