Scotland is currently being hit by the wettest summer since records began. The lasting effects of the recession and weeks of torrential rain are beginning to be felt by one of Scotland’s biggest outdoor sports industries.
For the first time in 14 years the Scottish Downhill Association (SDA), a not-for-profit organisation responsible for Scotland’s National Downhill Series, are considering cancelling two of their most popular annual fixtures at Dunkeld and Ae forest due to lack of entries.
All Pictures by Paul Cram.
| Dunkeld up from Stirling is a cracker of a course.|
Derek Ball, Vice-Chairman of the SDA committee comments:
“Ae and Dunkeld are usually two of our best events with entrants from across the UK and Ireland. Until recently, places in our races were in great demand and a typical 300-capacity race would sell out in less than 30 minutes. For the first time ever we will have to consider canceling these events due to lack of entrants.
We know times are tough for everyone due to the recession and the weather, but we need the support of the mountain biking community to secure the future of this series. If you don’t care about a bit of mud, but do care about Scottish downhill biking we need your entries now!”
| Scotland offers the best courses without doubt.|
Chris Ball, Gravity Sports Technical Delegate at Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), responsible for organising the mountain biking World Cup adds his voice in support of the cause,
“Behind every champion, in every sport, sits years upon years of quality experience and competition. The SDA have been running an incredible series for years that has, because of its well planned events and great atmosphere been the breeding ground for some of the world's best racers.”
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Scotland has been named a mountain biking ‘Global Superstar’ by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), and in 2011 alone the sport contributed an estimated £139 million to the Scottish economy. The SDA are responsible for the development of many of the country’s best-loved race venues including Dunkeld, Killin, Glencoe, and Strathyre. The series develops world class riders including 2007 Junior World Champion, Ruaridh Cunningham of Galashiels, who started racing with the SDA as a 12 year-old and current Senior World Champion, Englishman Danny Hart who competed with the SDA for many years. With entrants ranging in age from 12 to nearly 60, this inclusive series is a vital grassroots element of Scottish mountain biking culture. The SDA relies on entry fees and sponsorship to fund their races. With just a little more support from the UK biking community the volunteers behind the SDA can help ensure that Scotland continues to punch above its weight in downhill racing.
| All ladies receive a warm welcome as Angela Coates will tell you.|
| Lets make sure we don't loose these guys.|
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