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A teaching duo from the capital will set off on a 500 mile charity cycle this afternoon aiming to raise as much as possible for a charity close to their hearts.

The final bell of the 2018/19 school year will ring at George Watson’s College today with most heading off on their holidays, but for George Salmond and Alasdair MacDonell that bell will signal the start of their five day challenge.

They will pedal from Myreside cricket ground to the world famous Lord’s cricket ground in London in aid of Sporting Start.

Sporting Start was founded in memory of Martin Macari in 2017 and aims is to help individuals and groups who face financial or other barriers which limit their opportunity to access or participate in sport.

Martin was an inspirational and talented sportsman whose life was cut short by cancer aged 47. A passionate advocate for the power and joy of sport, Martin led by role model example as player, coach and leader across multiple sports.

He played rugby, cricket and squash for Watsonians and was an age-grade Touch international for Scotland.

Sporting Start was set up by his family and friends in 2017. Through the work of the charity they hope Martin’s sporting inspiration will continue to influence the lives of generations to come.

And Salmond, a former Scotland cricket captain who works with MacDonell in the junior school, said: “We are really excited about it.

“I love a challenge like this and it is just something different.

“We are both determined that we are going to enjoy it, but I suppose it is the unknown.

“Martin was a former pupil of the school and I used to play cricket against him in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a stalwart of George Watson’s and Watsonians rugby and cricket and was a very fit guy. Unfortunately, two years past February, he died from cancer.

“His children still attend the school and his wife and other family members and friends set up the charity which is doing such great work.

“It is also brilliant that his son Max designed the cycling top that we will be wearing on the way as we head southwards and although there could be some tough days myself and Alasdair are definitely up for this challenge.”

To support this good cause click here : https://www.goldengiving.com/fundraising/myreside2lords

Alasdair MacDonell and George Salmond