Scott & Robert’s story – Football to Amsterdam
Hearts’ fans Scott Ross and Robert Allen met through The Changing Room project last summer. In June 2020, they will be cycling to Amsterdam together to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
What is Football to Amsterdam?
Scott: It’s a cycling challenge over 2 days that will see us cycle from London to the Johan Crujff Arena in Amsterdam, and then come back to the UK on the 3rd day.
Robert: The idea is to do it whilst supporting your football team. So far we are the only team representing a Scottish Club and we’re quite proud of that!
How did you both get involved?
R: I completed the Edinburgh Kiltwalk with Big Hearts in September. It was just 9 weeks after my cancer surgery, a goal I had set myself when I left the hospital. After that I was looking for another challenge. Football to Amsterdam is not something I could do on my own so I thought I’d ask others to join me.
S: I want to do one big challenge every year. At the Changing Room they teach you how staying active helps maintain a positive mental health. We have a Whatsapp group to stay in touch with other participants and when Robert suggested this, I replied within minutes.
What are your main motivations?
R: We’re raising funds for Prostate Cancer UK. Although I had a different kind of cancer myself, this one is quite common: 1 man dies every 45 minutes of prostate cancer.
S: As men involved in a group for mental health, I think it’s also a reminder that physical health is something as important – that men should take more care about.
What are the ties with Big Hearts?
Robert: We are cycling under The Big Hearts Team because we both met at The Changing Room earlier this year. The project really changed my life and I feel like I owe Big Hearts so much. We hope we can raise good publicity for the Club’s charity.
Scott: The Changing Room changed the way I was approaching my own mental health and I want to give something back. I’d love other people to benefit from Big Hearts’ support.
How is the training going?
S: We’ve been training for about 12 weeks. We did our first round trip together in October, a 40 Miles ride from Edinburgh Waverley to Gullane and back.
R: It was really cold and wet. I realised how unprepared I was – not physically, but in terms of gear. It was a great milestone though and I was buzzing to do it again.
What are your fundraising plans?
S: We have big plans! We need to raise at least £2,500 as a team. I’ve received fantastic raffle prizes from businesses and former colleagues. We are organising a big Race Night at Tynecastle Park, in the Legends Lounge, on 29th February. Save the date!
R: The support we’ve received so far has been amazing. We managed to get Stephane Adam to sign a Hearts’ strip for us and we also have a signed Ken Buchanan glove box and many more signed sports memorabilia that will be auctioned at our Race Night.