A family affair: Katie's Cup pledges to support MND charity

05 March 2018

Business owners Robert, Jane and Susan Arkley have pledged their support to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation; the charity set up by ex-rugby international and MND sufferer, Doddie Weir, to raise money to aid research into the causes of this incurable disease.

The entrepreneurial trio are no strangers to charitable giving. Every year, siblings, Jane and Robert host Katie’s Cup at their family-owned 9-hole course at Kingsfield Golf & Leisure, raising five-figure sums for charities close to their heart. And, it was just over a year ago that their sister Susan, owner of Falkirk-based telecoms company Source Telecom, scaled Africa’s tallest free-standing mountain, Kilimanjaro; raising £12,000 for SAMH in the process.

Robert, a former rugby player himself, said of the family’s decision to support My Name’5 Doddie: “Doddie is a good friend – and a fellow farmer - and like the rest of Scotland and the sporting world, we were just stunned to hear his news last summer. He’s the most genuine, down-to-earth man you could meet and whenever he’s at Kingsfield, his presence fills the place. It’s really hard to think of this larger-than-life guy being struck by such a degenerative disease and we want to support his efforts.”

Commenting on the rugby legend’s condition, Robert added: “We’re simply in awe of Doddie’s energy and tenacity; in the wake of his diagnosis he’s doing all he can to support other people battling with the disease and raising money to help find a cure. And we’re proud to champion this with him.”

Katie’s Cup is an annual charity tournament held every August and has become Kingsfield’s very own ‘major’ golf championship. For Jane, who runs the Tee Caddy coffee shop, there is a particular poignancy to the day each year, but also happiness at the incredible sums going to charity.

She said: “My baby girl, Katie, was stillborn 15 years ago and it was a good friend of ours who suggested we start up a Katie’s Cup. Ever since, it has been a really good event raising magnificent sums of money, year on year, for charities such as Sands, Leukaemia Research @ The Beatson, the On-Course Foundation, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, Bosom Buds, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, Kidney Kids Scotland, and now MND through Doddie’s charity.”

Susan’s telecom business is hoping to raise at least £8,000 for Katie’s Cup through an incentivised, new business scheme. For every new mobile phone or hosted connection signed before 17 August, Source will make a donation to Katie’s Cup.

MND is a rare condition that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing muscles to weaken, stiffen, and waste. Symptoms – such as weakness in the legs, slurred speech, weak grip, muscle cramps, and weight loss – are gradual and in some cases not obvious at first. Doddie first announced his condition on 21 June 2017, the global awareness day for MND.

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