Attracting 15,000 visitors, including almost 1,200 racers and 250 volunteers, the inaugural Vittoria EWS Tweed Valley was a huge success and a great experience for everyone that attended, both locally and internationally. Here at Enduro Sports Organisation (ESO), we are determined to spread the event’s positive impact even further.
A core aim of the 2021 event was to ensure a positive, lasting legacy on the community. Every effort was made to provide improvements to existing trail networks, support local charities and involve the community.
A new legacy path, gates and bridge were built in Walkerburn, behind the popular Caberston Cafe, at a cost of £10,000. The new infrastructure allows locals and visitors alike to enjoy a beautifully scenic multi-use path to Caberston Forest.
As well as benefiting from improved access from Walkerburn via the legacy path, users of Caberston Forest now also have access to a new and improved climbing trail from the top forest road to the Kirnie Law reservoir, which was funded by ESO and Santa Cruz Pay Dirt and built by the TVTA.
Ensuring all trails used for Vittoria EWS Tweed Valley were kept in pristine condition before and after the event was a top priority. Close to 400 hours of trail maintenance was carried out by the ESO trail team, ensuring prime race conditions for athletes and trail rehabilitation post-event.
Race marshals and volunteers are essential for ensuring MTB race events are safe and well managed. As part of our vision for the lasting impact of the event, we wanted to give something back to the individuals who were volunteering to marshal at the event. Something that would not only empower them but also be of great benefit to the local community. The EWS Tweed Valley Chief Marshal, Helen Findlay, and Chief Medical Officer, Jen Isherwood, hosted three free training sessions in the lead up to event week. These training sessions provided 95 individuals with core training on effective marshaling and trail-side first aid, key skills that participants could take into the community and to other events.
"Standing on the side of a trail waiting for the moment for the stage to open, wondering what the next 60+ mins of racing will look like and knowing that you have done everything you can to prepare for the most likely of eventualities! Marshal training enables our team to step forward safely when a rider is injured on the trail, knowing how to manage safety first and responding with a clear set of actions, practised and rehearsed in the training room. Life-saving life skills apply anywhere and this training is no exception, building confidence and decision making in our team for both their role in EWS and beyond!"
Jen Isherwood, Chief Medical Officer
EWS Tweed Valley 2021 was also able to support key local charities, identified for their direct impact on the community who played host to the event.
Donations over £1,300 were raised for the TVTA, including entry fees from the Bike Valley Trails ride out, the Dirt School ride out, by volunteers donating their expenses and from our partners, Tempest Brew Co, who donated for every beer sold on-site at the event.
Over £1,800 was donated to Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue for the support they provide to all forest users in the area. This included volunteer expense donations, entry fees for the EWS Send it Skills event and donations from the EWS-KIDS race entries.
Supporting local cycling clubs, who have been instrumental in developing some of the region’s best cycling talent, is something that is incredibly important to ESO. They were critical to the success of EWS-KIDS, which attracted 250 youngsters. Their support included days of trail development in the months leading up to the event, the smooth on-site running of EWS-KIDS races and the EWS Send It Skills evening. That’s why we have ring-fenced the entry fees from EWS-KIDS into a fund that will support the future development of youth MTB across the region. The teams at Peebles Cycling Club (PCC) and Kids Innerleithen Cycling Club (KICC) are the heart of nurturing the region’s cycling talent and the fund will help them continue to develop world champion riders of the future.
“The commitment from the ESO team to making kids' events a priority comes from the very top and the support we have from their professional team is exemplary.”
EWS-Kids 2021 Organising Team
ESO were also delighted to welcome outdoor charity Trash Free Trails (TFT) to the Festival Village. TFT raise awareness and support for reconnecting with nature, reducing, reusing and recycling waste in the countryside, whilst also promoting the mental and physical health benefits from spending time taking care of and protecting the outdoors.
Emma Wadee, EWS Tweed Valley Event Director, shares her thanks:
“We can’t thank the local community enough for the way they have embraced this event and contributed to it’s outstanding success. To every single person who volunteered, raced, spectated or supported the event in a myriad of ways we extend our sincere thanks - we could not have done it without you.
“We truly believe the Tweed Valley is a special place and we hope that by supporting local charities and the amazing community here we can ensure our legacy lasts long after the final racer crosses the finish line.”
A huge thank you to all of the organisations and individuals who helped us support these charities in 2021. We are really excited to build on these contributions at this year’s EWS Tweed Valley, to continue our commitment to providing a positive, lasting impact on the communities in the Scottish Borders.