Hurtling downhill at great speed would probably scare the living daylights out of most people, but for Borders mountain biker Ruaridh Cunningham it is an everyday occurrence.
Now, thanks to VisitScotland’s global marketing campaign, people from around the world can appreciate the daredevil and adrenaline-inducing feats of the former Junior World Champion alongside the stunning scenery of the Scottish Borders where he honed his talents.
The 27-year-old from Stow is the star of the latest Spirit of Scotland online film from VisitScotland which aims to capture the essence of Scotland through the eyes of those that live and work here.
In the film, Ruaridh talks about how growing up in the Scottish Borders with mountain bike trails on his doorstep sparked his passion in mountain biking and allowed him to pursue his dream, becoming the Junior World Champion in 2007 and representing Great Britain in the 2007, 2010 and 2011 World Championships.
Ruaridh now travels the world competing in the downhill mountain biking series and also coaches at the Borders Academy of Sporting Excellence (BASE).
Doug Wilson, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “Through VisitScotland’s Spirit of Scotland global campaign and #ScotSpirit social movement we aim to raise the profile and reputation of the region as an outstanding place to visit, and to invest, live and work in.
“What better way to show off the dramatic landscape and the sheer guts and determination of the people in the Scottish Borders than in a film like this. Scotland is recognised as one of the world’s leading locations for mountain biking, generating £155million towards the national economy each year. The Scottish Borders’ reputation as a destination for cycling is strong and it is thanks to people like Ruaridh that is continues to grow worldwide.”
Mountain Biker, Ruaridh Cunningham said: “I was delighted to take part in the Spirit of Scotland campaign and the opportunity to talk about my passion for mountain biking. Growing up in the Scottish Borders with the excellent facilities and natural landscape at my disposal inspired me to take up mountain biking.
“I hope that by taking part in this film, I am able to inspire others to follow their ScotSprit in the pursuit of their ambitions, or at the very least encourage people to make a visit to the Scottish Borders and find out what the area has to offer for themselves.”
Ruaridh’s film is the latest in a series of online short documentaries produced as part of the £4.25million Spirit of Scotland campaign which launched in February 2016.
The films – which have attracted more than 20million views – aim to portray the spirit of Scotland through the eyes of those that live and work here and include a piper in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the train driver of the Jacobite Steam Train and a scallop diver in Skye.
The global campaign is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has unique spirit – whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people. Everyone who has shared their #ScotSpirit will become part of a special social movement. To find out more, visit: www.visitscotland.com/scotspirit
To view Ruaridh’s story, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwM5R7xXLN0
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016
- Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme