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Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy delivers an early Christmas surprise for local sporting hero

16th December 2020

Six-time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, surprised Fife cycling enthusiast, Kirsteen , with a video call and the delivery of a new bike, as a show of appreciation from The National Lottery. The emotional and heart-warming moment when Kirsteen received a surprise call from Sir Chris – and the delight when her husband wheeled in her new bike - is captured in a short film.

During the pandemic, Kirsteen, who is Cycling Development Officer working for Fife Council, and using National Lottery funding to develop cycling in the local area, was called on to help run the Burntisland Emergency Action Team. Within two weeks of the lockdown coming into place earlier this year, Kirsteen had a team of 80 volunteers delivering hundreds of meals and food parcels in the local area, collecting shopping and prescriptions, sorting donations and running essential errands for those who were shielding.

The special dedication took place following the findings of a new UK-wide study1 commissioned by The National Lottery, which shows that two thirds of sport fans in Scotland (63%) say the pandemic has increased their love of sports and appreciation for being active. Additionally, over a third (38%) believe 2020 should be the year we celebrate grassroots sportspeople in the same way we celebrate professionals and a similar number (31%) say the trying circumstances have made them even more appreciative of local sports volunteers than before.

Kristeen Torrance

“What an honour it is to chat to such a compassionate and caring person as Kirsteen Durkin. Her hard work and dedication this year is nothing short of inspirational, and the efforts of the volunteers at Burntisland Emergency Action Team have helped hundreds of people in the local community. We often hear of sports people being referred to as heroes, but this year has shown more than ever, that heroes come in all sorts of guises. “From grassroots through to elite, sport at all levels plays a valuable role in supporting and strengthening us in the hard times as well as motivating us with the possibilities for the good times still to come. The funding raised by National Lottery players has been vital through this challenging period for many individuals, groups and communities across Scotland as we try to negotiate these extraordinary times.”

Sir Chris Hoy said,

“I've followed Sir Chris' career for over 20 years and am an avid fan of his phenomenal journey, so you can imagine my utter shock when he appeared on the call. “I am bowled over by this surprise and it was amazing to speak to him. I feel so humbled that I was chosen for this dedication. I enjoy using my passion for sport to get more people on bikes so to be recognised for doing what I love is a bit surreal and totally wonderful. “I’ve seen first-hand the benefit that National Lottery funding has on people and projects,” added Kirsteen."I also know that Sir Chris Hoy is a National Lottery-funded athlete and I've seen how the athlete programme supports and benefits athletes from all over the country. So many community projects wouldn't happen without the funding, I've been involved in so many of them over the years. The money makes such a difference, not just in sport and physical activity but in so many community projects.”

Talking about her surprise call, Kirsteen Durkin said,

“With the help of National Lottery players raising £30million a week for good causes, grassroots sports workers and volunteers have done what they can to respond and support our communities across Scotland through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many people within sport, such as Kirsteen, have turned their hand to supporting those in need over the course of this year and for that we are incredibly grateful and proud.”

Stewart Harris, CEO of sportscotland said