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Dan and Gav are on their bikes!

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By Euan Maxwell
Dumfries and West
Dan and Gav are on their bikes!

TWO men are currently cycling over 1100 miles to raise funds for a Dumfries community trust.

Queen of the South’s Dan Armstrong and physio Gavin Lee, above, are cycling from Lands’ End to John o’Groats. With the mammoth distance to travel and very little prior training, Dan admits it sounds now a “ridiculous task”.

However, their aim is to raise cash for Queen of the South Community Trust, to make football more accessible for children locally.

Dan Armstrong

Dan explained: “With one idea being raising funds to supply our local groups and children living within poverty free tickets to games alongside free access to a number of our projects across the year.

“The trust already does so much work within the community, supporting those in poverty, social isolation, education, employability and many others.”

Talking about the challenge which started on Wednesday, Dan said: “The furthest I’ve ever been on a bike outside is just over 50 miles and on average 108 miles every day over the course of ten days is going to be very tough.”

The initial aim was to raise £2000 which would help the trust work with just over 100 children but this was smashed even before the pair took off on their bikes! Over £2500 has been raised so far and that’ll only continue to rise.

It has been a busy month for Dan as he was officially appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of Queen of the South – believed to be the youngest person in Britain to take on such a role in professional football.

Dan made the move north as a 16-year-old as he chased his dream of being a professional footballer.

Whilst being offered that opportunity and an apprenticeship with the club, he engaged in a great many of events that the youth team were doing in the community, going around schools and delivering projects. That led to him being offered the community development role when his apprenticeship came to an end and subsequently becoming the commercial manager in a dual role, and now CEO.

On his appointment, Dan said: “In essence, looking now, the club have been preparing me for the role over the past couple of years. During the past two years, I’ve got to know the workings of the football club. I’ve been visiting other football clubs, in Scotland and England. I’ve been involved along with the current board, building a relationship with the SPFL. Meeting with the SPFL and SFA at national conferences has allowed me to understand how football works in Scotland and the framework. I’ve been able to do that with support, which has been brilliant and hopefully it stands me in good stead.

“I’ve been allowed to build a good network within the game, which is massively important. Football is an industry that’s all about relationships, this is something I pride myself on. This club has a good reputation across Scotland and having already been part of that should hopefully make that transition a little bit smoother.”

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