Stepping up … our latest Cupar Trooper!

We are all reacting in different ways to the Covid-19 lockdown. Eight year old Lyle McKelvie in Cupar wanted to do something to help. He has more than stepped up to the challenge. We spoke with his Mum, Ailsa, to discover more …

Lyle is the eldest of three children in the McKelvie family. Together with his brother Lewis (6) and sister Arwen (4), they’re passing their time in the lockdown as many families are – home schooling, walks, bike rides and time in the garden.

Ailsa says: “I’m a software engineer and usually work in Dunfermline. I’m still working – although from home. My husband, Martin, has been furloughed so is helping with the kids’ home schooling. We’re very lucky.

So what challenge did the eight year old from Castlehill take on? Ailsa explains: “He’s always loved challenges. He did his first 5K on a Park Run aged five for no reason other than he just wanted to do it. When he sets his mind on something, he’s very determined to finish it.” When he was six, Lyle climbed Goatfell – the highest point on Arran. It was just shy of a Munro. This year, he’s talked of climbing his first Munro – and that’s what gave Lyle his idea.

Ailsa adds: “Just as with all of us, Lyle has been very aware of the world around us. There are so many people who are far worse off – and he wanted to do something to help. It has helped him to cope too. He decided to raise money for Cupar’s Food Bank to help those families who can’t help themselves just now.

And so the planning began. Ailsa says: “We know a Munro is 3,000 ft – so we measured the stairs in the house and did the maths. It turned out Lyle would have to clock 291 climbs to equal a Munro.

He got friends and family to sponsor him and – with his Mum and Dad’s help – set up a ‘Go Fund Me‘ page to help collect the sponsorship (below). You can still click on it to donate.

All in a day …

The climbing began! Step by step – Lyle completed all 291 climbs between 11am and 4pm. Ailsa says: “I did it with him to begin with but, by half past three, Lyle had his second win and started running up and down the stairs to complete the last 50 climbs. He is much fitter than me and left me behind!

And the money rose too. All 225.00 of it – now donated to Cupar Food Bank.

Joe Preece, manager at the Food Bank, is full of praise for Lyle and his family, saying: “We have been in awe of the support so many people in our community are giving to us through this time. It is really heartwarming. Lyle’s challenge was fantastic and – on behalf of all involved in the charity – I’d like to thank him, his family and friends for their wonderful support.

What next for Lyle when the lockdown ends? Ailsa says they still have their eye on a real Munro, saying: “Ben Hoose was fun … but Lyle is really looking forward to conquering his first real Munro. That will probably be Ben Chonzie near Comrie as it is one of the closest to us.

As a thank you from CuparNow – and in recognition of Lyle being this week’s Cupar Trooper – a wee gift will be winging its way to him.


Need more on Cupar’s Food Bank?

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