A 45-year-old Edinburgh man who has waged a lifelong battle against cerebral palsy is to undertake an extraordinary bicycle journey to explore the archaeological, natural and cultural heritage of the islands of Orkney, assisted by an award in honour of two legendary Scottish mountaineers.
David Reilly is a sports writer and you can read of his many exploits and challenges on his website. David will be helped by an award from the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant – a memorial run by the John Muir Trust to celebrate the lives of two legendary mountain men from Edinburgh.
Bill Wallace died in the Alps in 2006 while skiing – with two artificial hips – at the age of 73. Des Rubens, a popular 63-year old teacher at Craigroyston High School, was killed in June 2016 in an Alpine climbing. Both men had been former presidents of the Scottish Mountaineering Club.
David, who intends to document his Orkney odyssey through writing and photography said:
“I was thrilled to hear I had been awarded the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant. I am committed to the outdoors and improving participation for disabled people.”
“Through my own adventures I hope to improve both access and equity of opportunity in outdoor and country sports. The archaeological sites of Orkney are a window into all our heritage and this money will help towards opening them up to an ever wider audience.”
“It’s crucial that we all have access and the ability to study the past, and to preserve the sites for future generations. I’m excited about the trip and hope that the writing I produce will benefit the whole community. And I’m extremely grateful to the John Muir Trust and look forward to working with them.”
Funded in 1983 The John Muir Trust is familiar to many people young and not so young in Orkney who have undertaken activities to do with the charitable organisation. Its mission is to:
“To conserve and protect wild places with their indigenous animals, plants and soils for the benefit of present and future generations”
John Muir (1838 – 1914) was born in Dunbar, East Lothian but his legacy to the world was as an environmental activist. He was an early advocate of preserving the wilderness of the United States of America which led to the establishment of National Parks.
David Reilly has been awarded £750 towards his challenge and is looking for further sponsorship.
He can be contacted directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can find out more about David’s amazing adventures by visiting his website: www.davidcreilly.com