Sir Chris Hoy surprised a Fife cycling enthusiast with a video call and the delivery of a new bike – as a show of appreciation from The National Lottery.
The heart-warming moment when Kirsteen received a surprise call from the six-time Olympic champion – and her delight when her husband wheeled in her new bike – is captured in a short film (see below).
The Fife Council cycling development officer, who uses National Lottery funding to develop cycling in local communities, has helped to run the Burntisland Emergency Action Team during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
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 study 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.
Compassionate and caring
Sir Chris Hoy said: “What an honour it is to chat to such a compassionate and caring person as Kirsteen.
“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.”
The gift – and gesture of thanks from one of her sporting heroes – left Kirsteen in a state of disbelief.
Reflecting on her surprise call, Kirsteen said: “I've followed Sir Chris's 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. 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.”
‘Grateful and proud’
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, added: “With the help of National Lottery players raising £30 million 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.”
Find out more
Visit Lottery Good Causes to learn how The National Lottery is celebrating the work done by unheralded people across the UK this year