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Scottish MTB Local Hero Award 2022 - Celebrating the finalists.

We love this award! There are so many deserving folks out there, doing many incredible things, supporting and encouraging and growing mountain bike communities across Scotland. Leanne Whitehead was the 2022 deserving winner but we also wanted to highlight the runners up - all also legends in their own right!

Local Hero

Chris deservedly won the Trail Advocate of the Year award - but he was also nominated for the Local Hero Award too. He is an Aberdeenshire stalwart, his dedication to the Tarland project and the wider mountain bike offer in the area has been immense. Here are a few snippets from the nominations forms that came in for Chris.

"Tarland Trails 1 and 2 would not exist and he has literally put in more of his own time than anyone in the local area."

"He is a local legend, very approachable and informative of everything he is involved in and has given more of his time to developing mountain biking in the area than anyone else. He also does a lot for the local canoe club."

"Chris Redmond has been front and centre for the fundraising and development of Tarland Trails 2 project. Its hard to not recognise his efforts in bringing this project to life."

"Chris is heavily involved in Tarland Trails and Tarland 2. We would be lost without his energy and drive for the Trails at Tarland."

"Chris almost won this award in previous years and narrowly missed out. We hope he and his efforts passion and dedication can be recognised once more."

Chris Redmond

Chris picking up the Trail Advocate of the Year award from our Will. Image Mr Scullion.

Although he'll hate us putting this out there - Will is widely recognised as a legend, probably everywhere! He lives and breathes Aberdeenshire and the amount of his own time, over and above his DMBinS role, that he dedicates to the benefit of mountain biking in Aberdeenshire, the ATA and the local community is phenomenal and pretty mind blowing to be honest. Here are a few snippets from the nominations forms that came in for Will.

"What doesn't he do? We would honestly be lost without Will in Aberdeenshire."

"Will essentially links things up and pushes things forward. From Tarland Trail 2, HBR, the ATA, linking in bike shops, providing advice and training to coaches, guides and other stakeholders, working with landowners.... He hides in the shadows, supporting others but he needs to be recognised for his input into the MTB community."

"Will believes in people. He listens, gets behind and pushes their ideas, ambitions and goals. Businesses and people across the Aberdeenshire MTB scene would echo that without him linking opportunities , funding and resources, we would be in a very different state of affairs. Will has been shouting to get the conference in Aberdeenshire for a while now, it speaks volumes for the hard work and round the clock input he gives MTB."

"Enabled many amazing projects such as Tarland trails, Relish, support to Mountain bike festivals, ATA and putting Aberdeenshire on the map for bikers near and far."

"He is truly a local legend. Ps. He loves salad."

Will Clarke

Will. Image Finlay Anderson

Chris Roper is an inspirational local coach & guide - he works with riders of all ages and abilities keeping the stoke high for riding. Chris is part of the steering group for Tarland Trails Phase 2 - Scotland's biggest community led MTB project. Chris is a member of the Aberdeenshire Trail Association, being a founder member in 2018 and maintaining a committee and leadership position through the groups history. He is a proper legendary figure and what he doesn't know about the local trail network really isn't worth knowing! Here are a few wee snippets from the nomination forms we received for Chris.

"Chris was arguable the first independent MTB coach & guide locally. He was a founder of ATA. He delivers sessions with Active Schools, he runs summer camps. he attends dig days, helps with race prep. No one thing wouldn't exist without Chris but many things might be worse without his effort."

"A classic example of Chris' contribution recently - in the morning he had a coaching session with a local female rider who came away with more confidence and feeling good. Immediately upon finishing that session he went to do some voluntary trail work to ensure that trails were in good condition for an upcoming race - one that he was not involved in nor participating in. After a heavy digging session he went again to coach a group, inspiring them to love bikes like he does. This is not a one off!"

There was a reason folks wanted Chris Roper to pick up the Destination award! image Pete Scullion

James is a peer mentor and MTB Trail Therapy leader on our Trail Therapy Programme and quite an incredible individual - you only need to watch our film about the programme to see the incredible journey that James has been on. He has shared his story world wide and continues to promote Trail Therapy.

He has pushed himself to speak in front of large audiences, sharing his lived experience. James continues to develop himself and has undertaken more MTB leadership courses and continues to demonstrate the power of mountain bike Trail Therapy!

He leads and support patients at Caird House, Hamilton. Has led multiple groups and acts as a point of contact and positive role model to other people on a recovery journey from poor mental health and wellbeing.

If you can, please consider donating to the Scottish MTB Heath Fund and help us run more Trail Therapy sessions across the country.


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If you can, please consider donating to the Scottish MTB Heath Fund and help us run more Trail Therapy sessions across the country.