Sir Tom Hunter, the man with the vision to turn the idea into Scotland’s biggest mass participation event for charity, praised Dundee Kiltwalkers for their incredible commitment to good causes across Scotland.
Sir Tom and the Hunter Foundation has guaranteed a 40 per cent fundraising boost at each Kiltwalk this year, giving charities a 140 per cent return for every penny raised.
Sir Tom said: “The success of the Kiltwalk is down to the amazing people who sign up and take part, walking for charities close to their hearts.
“Their fundraising efforts really do make a real and lasting impact. Encouraging walkers every step of the way is our Kiltie Volunteers who make sure everything goes smoothly. The atmosphere today was nothing short of incredible, with everyone united in walking for good causes.”
Both Sir Tom and Kiltwalk chief executive Paul Cooney were at each of the starts to cheer on Kiltwalkers as they set off.
Leading out Dundee’s Mighty Stride was 44-year-old John MacGillivray from Dundee who was joined by his two-year-old daughter Aria who has Achondroplasia (a form of Dwarfism) and Hydrocephalus.
Father and daughter were raising funds for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland and the Dwarf Sports Association.
John said: “I am so proud that Aria and I lead out the Mighty Stride today.
“Aria’s condition means she will have continued mobility needs and at times will need to use a wheelchair but by doing the Kiltwalk together I’m hoping this instils in her a belief that her differences don’t have to hold her back.”
Leading the way for the Big Stroll was Vicki Forrester, a 45-year-old mum from Monifieth who was walking for Dundee Disabled Children’s Association, which provides fantastic support to her 16-year-old son Isaac who has complex disabilities.
Finally, the Wee Wander was started by 46-year-old Gillian Coleman from Broughty Ferry who was walking for Autism Support Angus and Dundee (ASAD). Gillian’s eight-year-old son Joshua has severe non-verbal autism and benefits hugely from the group.
Walkers set off from the world famous Old Course in St Andrews at 9am to complete the 25 mile Mighty Stride followed by the Big Stroll walkers at 11am from Tayport taking on 11 miles.
The final group set off from HMS Unicorn at Victoria Dock at noon for the six-mile Wee Wander with all three walks finishing at the Kiltwalk Village at Blue Seaway Playground, Monifieth Beach where a hot meal, a few drinks and a night of entertainment awaited walkers.
Malcolm Buchanan, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Scottish board, said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland is a proud partner of the Kiltwalk and we want to say a huge well done and thank you to everyone who took part in the Dundee Kiltwalk. It’s inspiring to see so many people come together to walk for different charities.”
Kiltwalk has raised more than £4.8 million for Scottish charitable causes since 2011 and this year more than 700 charitable organisations are set to benefit as the Kiltwalk is now open to every charity.
With the final Kitwalk of 2017 to come, Edinburgh is gearing up for a sea of tartan to descend on the capital city on Sunday, 17 September.
To find out more about the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk or to sign up for the Edinburgh Kiltwalk, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.