To mark the second anniversary of David Hill’s tragic death, members of David’s family and friends will cycle the match ball from Edinburgh to Dublin, for the second playing of the David Hill Memorial Quaich, which will take place at Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin on 16th March 2024 at 11.30am, between the Dail and Seanad and the Scottish Parliament rugby teams.
The Cycle4David Team will leave on Saturday 9th March from British Gas Murrayfield, following the presentation by Scottish Rugby of the match ball to David’s father, Rodger. The Cycle4David team will then cycle through Edinburgh calling at the Scottish Parliament where they will be joined by The Rt Hon. Alison Johnstone MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament who will accompany them out of Edinburgh.
The Cycle4David Team will then cycle down through the Borders and on through Dumfries and Galloway arriving in Dublin on Friday 15th March. Whilst cycling through Dumfries and Galloway, the Cycle4David team will call at 11 secondary schools, to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) and to raise funds and to promote upcoming cardiac screening events in Dumfries. David’s father, Rodger Hill has already visited the majority of secondary schools in the region to speak to senior pupils.
This will be almost two years to the day that David died suddenly in the same fixture in in 2022. The teams will feature members of Parliament from both respective nations. The winner will be presented with the David Hill Memorial Quaich, generously donated by David’s family.
David collapsed whilst playing a cross-party rugby match for Holyrood against Dail and Seanad XV at the Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin as part of the Parliamentary Six Nations. He was aged just 30.
Originally from Dumfriesshire, David worked for several MSPs during his time at Holyrood and at the time of his death he had been working for Jamie Greene MSP. David’s popularity and hardworking reputation led to him being posthumously named Parliamentary Staffer of the Year in September 2022 at the Holyrood Magazine Awards.
Every week in the UK, around 12 young people (that is aged 35 and under) die suddenly from a previously diagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms – which is why CRY is so committed to the importance of specialist, cardiac screening.
To date, the David Hill Memorial Fund has raised over £40,000 which has allowed David’s family to organise 400 free cardiac screenings in Dumfries in May 2024 and April 2025, with more screenings to follow.
Dr Steven Cox, Chief Executive of CRY adds: “This is a truly epic and inspirational challenge and as a charity, we’re hugely grateful for the efforts of the Cycle4David team, knowing the impact they’ll have in raising further awareness amongst both the public and parliamentarians. The incredible campaigning work being carried out in memory of David – most notably the launch of the MSPSupport4CRY at Holyrood last October – has already led to 78 MSPs signing up to CRY’s pledge for the prevention of young sudden cardiac death. And, there’s no doubt that an event of this scale and endurance will see that number rise and really help to build on the recent momentum established in Scotland by the friends and family of David Hill.
“We wish all of the Cycle4David team the very best of luck and will be cheering them on as they pedal from Edinburgh to Dublin on their very poignant journey.”
CRY also funds pioneering research into the conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death as well as providing a unique bereavement support network for all families who have been affected. CRY’s screening programme currently tests over 25,000 young people (aged 14-35) every year in the UK (and has screened over 275,000 young people in total, to date).
Although heart screening won’t identify all young people at risk, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by 89%. This is because sport – whilst it does not actually cause sudden cardiac death – can significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying condition.