Shropshire Star

Celebs take part in Loony Dook for Doddie Weir’s MND charity

Rugby star Zander Fagerson and sports presenter Eilidh Barbour braved the ice cold water near Milngavie.

TV presenter Eilidh Barbour took part in a new year's dook

Sports stars were among those braving an annual dook in freezing waters to raise money in memory of late rugby legend Doddie Weir.

Hundreds of people gathered across Scotland for the annual Loony Dook, with swimmers plunging into the water at Kinghorn in Fife at about 11am.

At the Drumclog reservoir in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, international Scottish rugby ace Zander Fagerson joined sports presenter Eilidh Barbour in braving the cold temperatures for motor neurone disease (MND).

Zander Fagerson braved the freezing waters of Drumclog reservoir (Craig Watson/PA)

Their dook comes as the 10-year anniversary of the ice bucket challenge approaches – the viral sensation which saw major celebrities pour ice-cold water over them to raise money for the charity.

The new year also marks the start of a five-week event to raise funds for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

The Dook for Doddie raises awareness of the charity, which was set up by the late sportsman following his diagnosis in 2016. He died in November 2022, aged 52.

Earlier, dozens of swimmers took a dip in the Firth of Forth at Kinghorn for the annual event, with a larger group expected to gather from South Queensferry later in the day.

People taking part in the Loony Dook in the Firth of Forth at Kinghorn
People taking part in the Loony Dook in the Firth of Forth at Kinghorn (Jane Barlow/PA)

Money raised in this new year’s tradition will go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and other local charities.

Dook is a Scottish word meaning to dip or bathe and the event began in 1986 when friends went for a swim in the icy waters to stave off their hangovers from Hogmanay.

Participants wore fancy dress, including mermaid costumes, as they braved the cold.

Fagerson, a Glasgow Warriors prop, said: “The rugby community has been behind Doddie since day one, but this event has taken on a life of its own and become a movement because the big man touched so many people.

“It’s part of his legacy that each year thousands get active to pick up the baton and carry on his mission to end MND.”

Ms Barbour said: “The inter-district rivalry is part of what makes Doddie Aid so special, but it’s just part of it; you can compete against your friends, family, co-workers or yourself.

“Whatever you do, whoever you do it with, you are doing something really special.”

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